May 7, 2018 by

Nevada Gambling Board Working on Sexual Harassment Protocols

There is news out of Nevada that shines a light on the entire issue of sexual harassment.  It also adds another item to the list of advantages online casinos enjoy over land based casinos.  When you access free money at an online casino through their bonus codes, you never have to worry about being sexually harassed while you’re playing the games, while you’re standing around the roulette wheel or craps table, and just while you’re roaming around the casino.


Harassment Knows No Bounds

Casino employees are drafting a far-reaching policy statement and recommendation that now includes casino players as among those who sexually harass said employees.  In other words, casino employees are not sexually harassed only by fellow employees as is far too often the case in “normal” office environments.  Casino employees are also harassed by players.

By adding harassment perpetrated by players against casino employees, the draft resolution, which is still in progress, states that the two obvious forms of sexual harassment in casinos—harassment suffered by players and harassment suffered by workers coming from other workers—are not alone in the land based casino environment.

Men and Women are Equally Affected

While we usually think about a woman being harassed by a man, when we add harassment from players to casino workers, we can easily see that male employees might also feel seriously intimidated if they are approached for sex by a male or female player.

This would be especially true if the advances were coming from a high roller.  These players are known for getting many perks both at land based and at online casinos.  Some might say that high rollers in a casino might believe that they can have anything they want.  In terms of food and drink, special rooms to gamble in, and the best suites, they are correct.  But the “anything goes” approach has to end at asking for, or expecting sexual favors.

A casino employee who is approached by a high roller has to weigh his/her preferences against the casino’s preferences.  The worker may want no part of a liaison with a player but if the player is a high roller, the casino may pressure the employee to keep the player happy at all costs.  The position paper the employees are working on will state unequivocally that keeping high rollers happy at all costs ends at the line where sexual harassment begins.

What is Sexual Harassment?

In the modern environment, sexual harassment becomes real much sooner than it used to.  The entire #MeToo movement was born of the reality that what the sexual aggressor thought was simply flirting or asking for a date quickly deteriorated into a situation where the answer “no” no longer meant “no”.

In many areas of modern life—such as, workplaces, which include offices, factories, schools, restaurants, and so on; public places like parks, beaches, and theaters; even city streets where people have to walk to get from one place to another or people stand smoking because they can’t smoke indoors—the rules for advancing upon another person for any kind of encounter that has the potential to become a formal sexual advance have changed.

One person may ask another for a date but if the answer is no, it means no.  It doesn’t mean, as so many internet offers do, “remind me tomorrow”.  Some women don’t like to be told they look nice today.  The environment surrounding interpersonal encounters has become fraught with danger and accusation.  Many people now think that accusations of sexual harassment have become exaggerated.  But overt sexual harassment is obvious to everyone and it is overt sexual harassment of casino employees that the draft resolution seeks to address.

Slow Moving Draft

Several months have passed since Becky Harris, Chairwoman of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, announced that she was taking the initiative in working out new regulations and procedures to help casino employees enjoy a harassment-free working environment.  It could be that she and her committee are taking the time they need to get the resolution right.  It might also mean that Ms. Harris is under some pressure from casinos to “go easy” on the language that would affect high rollers.

Reporting Harassment

This week, the news carried a story that one reason the draft is moving ahead so slowly is because employees in the past have found it difficult to simply report sexual misconduct.  By saying so, the team working on the draft seems to be saying that casino managements have not been as open as they should have been to their workers sexual safety and privacy.  The committee is working on protocols that the casino industry in Nevada will have to accept that sets out guidelines for how a casino deals with an accusation of sexual impropriety.

Training

Freshman students at many colleges and universities go through an orientation training session that might last a few days.  One aspect of these orientation sessions is what constitutes sexual harassment.  Casino employees may have had similar training sessions for how to avoid being cited as a sexual harasser.  Now, the committee is working on training for employees to learn how they can deal with any sexual misbehavior that they themselves have suffered.  The training will address the emotional and psychological side of what it means to be sexually harassed.

Online Casino Challenge

Land based casinos remain very popular even though online casinos, especially mobile casinos, continue to cut into land based casinos’ share of the gambling pie.  A problem of sexual harassment in a land based casino makes online gambling even more attractive.  So, land based casinos have a double challenge facing them: how to reduce sexual misbehavior in the casino to asymptotically zero levels and still retain the loyalty of gamblers, especially high rollers.