Casinos, employees make major donations |

Casinos, employees make major donations

Susan Wood

Two of the nation’s largest casino companies have emptied their pockets in a big way to aid the victims’ loved ones following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Caesars Tahoe’s parent company split $1 million between the New York State World Trade Center Disaster Relief Fund and New York Firefighters 911 Relief Fund, Park Place Entertainment announced.

And despite taking an initial financial hit in gaming revenues and hotel occupancy in the aftermath of the ordeal, Harrah’s Entertainment has donated $1 million to relief efforts to benefit the families of the fallen and missing in New York, the company announced.

They include the New York Firefighters 911 Relief Fund, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Widows and Children’s Fund, the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union Assistance Fund and the National Organization for Victims Assistance Fund for Terrorist Attack Victims.

In addition, many of the 40,000 employees of the casino company at its 25 properties nationwide are waging their own relief drive to benefit the relief network of their choice.

This six-week fund-raising drive includes some of the 4,000 staffers at Harrah’s and Harveys Lake Tahoe.

“Harrah’s, Harveys and Bill’s employees at Lake Tahoe have been asking how they can help and show support for our country during this tragic episode in American history,” General Manager Joe Hasson said.

Like many travel-related companies, Harrah’s management is keeping one eye focused on the human impact of the tragedy two weeks ago and the other on the attack’s impact on their tourism-based business.

Excluding Harveys Lake Tahoe, gaming revenues for northern Nevada properties dropped 14 percent in the five days following the attack in comparison to the previous year but recovered to a 29 percent gain during the week ending Sept. 22.

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