Las Vegas Weekly says it’s time for MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, owners of six casinos in Mississippi, to leave the shawdows and speak out against Mississippi’s so-called Religious Restoration Act and its potential for widespread discrimination against gays and lesbians. Mississippi is not Arizona. There are precious few massive national companies with significant presences there. Lawmakers in Jackson don’t live in fear of being humiliated as bigots on cable news; theirs is a shameless, almost quaint, homophobia, Las Vegas Weekly writes.
Yet Mississippi does have one important industry with ties to the outside world: casinos. More specifically, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment own six casinos in—yes, this is one of its nicknames—the Hospitality State. With nearly 6,000 rooms between them, they are the hotel business’ major players, feeding millions from the casinos to the state’s coffers. This is a painfully poor state; without the casinos, it’d be unimaginably desperate.
MGM and Caesars’ Mississippi employees and customers—not to mention their lawmakers—need to know that MGM and Caesars stand for equality and fairness everywhere. It is their obligation there for the same reason it was their obligation in Nevada, because they are the biggest fish with the most economic clout, and that’s the only thing that persuades hatemongers not to legislate their hate.