Two prominent casino executives released statements Wednesday urging Nevada voters to support the background check initiative on Nov. 8.
Jan Jones Blackhurst, executive vice president, government relations and corporate responsibility, of Caesers Entertainment Corporation, and Bill Hornbuckle, president of MGM Resorts International, said Question 1 will help preserve Las Vegas’s gaming industry and bolster public safety.
Question 1 would require background checks for most private sales and transfers. Gun control advocates argue the law closes the so-called loopholes allowing prohibited persons to buy guns illegally. Gun rights groups say, however, Question 1’s poor wording criminalizes law-abiding gun owners, chips away at Second Amendment rights and does nothing to stop firearms from falling into the wrong hands.
“Day in and day out, thousands of people in our city’s gaming industry deliver world-class service to guests from across the globe,” Blackhurst said. “As part of that, we work closely with law enforcement to protect our visitors and our staff, and I’m proud to stand with my gaming colleagues and the many current and former law enforcement leaders supporting Question 1.”
“People come to Las Vegas from every corner of the world because of our legendary service and entertainment. We’ve worked hard to establish ourselves as the gaming destination we are today, and protecting public safety is critical to our local economy,” Hornbuckle said. “That’s why I support closing Nevada’s background check loophole and urge my fellow Nevadans to vote yes on Question 1.”
The endorsements came through Nevadans for Background Checks, the nationally-financed political action committee devoted to passing the ballot measure. So far, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety, have poured a combined $13 million into the Question 1 campaign.
Recent polls commissioned through the Las Vegas Review-Journal show the money may have not been spent in vain: 54 percent of the 800 likely voters surveyed support Question 1 while 38 percent remain opposed.
There are 103 casinos in the Las Vegas valley, according to Gamboool writer Steve Beauregard, several of which are owned by billionaire casino magnate and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.
Adelson bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal last year for $140 million, so when the publication became the first major daily newspaper to endorse Donald Trump last week, many media outlets — including the New York Times and the Washington Post — attributed the decision to Adelson’s influence.
The newspaper also urged readers to vote no on Question 1.
“While the impulse here is understandable, it’s unclear whether this wide-reaching measure would have any discernible effect on crime or whether it would simply saddle law-abiding citizens with more burdens and costs,” the board said in an editorial published Oct.21. “Gov. Brian Sandoval has come out against Question 1, as has the attorney general and many county sheriffs in the state. It’s hard to believe that such a long list of law enforcement officials would oppose the proposal if it were actually an effective means of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. Vote no on Question 1.”