State’s casinos slow to hire minority workers

The money has been rolling into Pennsylvania’s 10 casinos over this past year, but a report released last week shows that minorities are still waiting to cash in on the jobs.

The 2010-2011 Gaming Diversity Report from the state Gaming Control Board shows that of the 15,064 jobs at the state’s casinos through June 30, minorities account for 25 percent. Out of the $644 million spent in 2010 on services, minority business enterprise and women business enterprise only received 5 percent.

For SugarHouse Casino, which opened last September as Philadelphia’s first casino, minorities accounted for 41 percent of its 1,090 employees, while whites represented 59 percent. Minority hiring was up slightly from 39 percent in June 2010.

“I’m not pleased with the employment numbers, especially since they seem to be dwindling since the project started,” said Councilman W. Wilson Goode, who has proposed a bill that would require economic diversity plans to be posted on the city’s website.

SugarHouse claims it has made a concerted effort to reach minorities and women.

“SugarHouse is proud to be leading the state’s casinos in recruitment and retention of women and minorities,” said spokeswoman Leigh Whitaker. “We have an aggressive program to continue strengthening our diversity at all levels.”

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