Gaming insights Gaming

MGM Chairman “crosses floor” to oppose Trump

Written by Ben Blaschke

MGM Resorts Chairman Jim Murren has made the extraordinary step of publicly “crossing the aisle” on his Republican roots and backing US Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Penning an opinion piece for USA Today, Murren – who oversees the likes of Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand in Las Vegas as well as MGM Macau and the soon to open MGM Cotai – said he has no choice but to oppose Trump given the Republican nominee’s stance on a range of key issues including trade, immigration and the environment.

“As a lifelong registered Republican, I’ve crossed the aisle only a few times in elections past, and almost never at the presidential level. Each time, it was a gut-wrenching decision – but this year it’s an easy choice,” he wrote.

“I’m going to put my country ahead of my party by voting for Hillary Clinton and by making my first-ever public endorsement of a presidential candidate. Here’s why.

“First, like every CEO I know, I’m in favor of strong economic growth and the policies that generate it. Trade has always been an essential component of any credible pro-growth economic plan. One candidate in the race has pledged to support trade agreements that will boost our economy and benefit American workers, while ensuring that our environment is protected.

MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren

MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren

“The other candidate seems determined to needlessly antagonize our allies and trading partners by pledging to tear up NAFTA and other hard-won trade agreements. One candidate works to create stability and certainty, qualities the market loves and rewards. The other operates erratically and unpredictably – qualities the market abhors and punishes.

“Second, as the head of a company that competes globally in the gaming, hospitality and tourism industries, I know that diversity and inclusion are imperatives from the standpoint of both morality and business. Within the gaming sector, 45% of our industry’s employees are minorities and nearly half – 48% – are women. In my company, 66% of our workforce is ethnically diverse. Clinton will stand up for women and minorities as essential contributors to America’s economy.”

Murren also noted that he isn’t alone in his decision. It’s certainly food for thought.

“There’s a reason why so many of America’s CEOs, including many longtime Republicans, will be switching sides in this election,” he said. “We’re all looking for the candidate who will promote economic growth through greater trade; embrace diversity and inclusion as one of America’s greatest strengths; and advance policies that encourage energy independence and environmental protection. That’s why when I go into the voting booth in November, I will proudly pull the lever for Hillary Clinton.”