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When some slot players win in Las Vegas, so do 4 nonprofits

Updated October 11, 2019 - 3:56 pm

Slot players can help local charities win big through a fundraising program from Everi.

The Everi Cares Giving Module program lets guests donate their slot earnings to one of four nonprofit organizations through casinos’ ticket redemption kiosks.

“The thing about getting people to invest in your charity is the easier you make it, the better,” said Liz Ortenburger, CEO for SafeNest, an organization dedicated to preventing domestic violence in Clark County that will accept donations through the program. “Anything we can do to creatively fundraise is appreciated. It’s a great way for us to continue the work we do and spend our resources on victims.” 

The Giving Module program is available in four local properties. It first launched at the M Resort in late 2017, followed by The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in July and Wynn Las Vegas and the Encore in September. In total, the program has been approved and made available in 32 tribal and commercial casinos throughout North America.

A ‘fantastic model’

The program provides an “efficient method for casinos to have a direct positive impact in their communities, while showcasing the philanthropy and generosity of their industry, which is typically misunderstood,” according to a statement from Las Vegas-based gaming equipment manufacturer Everi.

After players take their slot machine winnings to an Everi redemption kiosk, they’re presented with the option to contribute their coins to one — or all — of the four charities. They can also choose to collect their winnings without making a donation. For the remainder of the year, The Cosmopolitan will collect donations for The Nevada Humane Society, Project 150, Veteran’s Village and SafeNest.

Below each charity’s logo, the kiosk lets players know how much customers have donated so far that day. On Tuesday afternoon, more than $68 had been donated to the nonprofits at The Cosmopolitan.

If guests choose to make a donation, 100 percent goes directly to the charity of choice. The Cosmopolitan said it will match up to $10,000 per quarter.

So far, the Giving Module has generated more than $700,000 in donations from all of the properties across North America, according to Everi, all while offering additional perks to operators.

It provides the “benefit of less coin on the floor, saving our 32 participating casinos from having to handle more than 19 million coins to date,” according to the statement. “It is clear that guests are happy to donate their change to worthwhile charitable efforts when we and our casino partners make it so easy for them.”

Marcus Prater, executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, said he supports any opportunity for suppliers and operators to work together to benefit the community.

This uses “thousands of tickets that some folks may just disregard,” he said. “Those tickets, in total, can add up to a lot of money.”

Gregory Hall, CEO of the Nevada Humane Society, said the organization is looking forward to the outcome of this quarter’s donations.

We “believe the program is a fantastic model of broad-based giving for nonprofit organizations like ours that benefit a large percentage of the public,” he said.

Last quarter’s success

Donations at The Cosmopolitan between July and September raised close to $12,000 for the first four charities — The Shade Tree, Opportunity Village, Three Square Food Bank and Team Rubicon. According to a press release from the property, the average donation per individual was $0.38, with 11 percent of guests opting in to donate.

The Cosmopolitan hopes to supersede that number with the next group of charities.

“We strive to increase our support and spread our contribution efforts as far and wide as possible throughout the community, and with the Giving Module, we are able to engage our guests with a more innovative touch point, ” said Chelle Adams, chief financial officer at The Cosmopolitan. She said the property plans to continue the program into 2020.

Representatives for Wynn Resorts Ltd. and the M Resort did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.

Daryl Sprague, major gifts officer at Opportunity Village — which serves Southern Nevadans who have intellectual and related disabilities — said that in addition to raising funds, the program benefits charities by promoting their brand to the public.

This program introduces nonprofits “to a whole new demographic of people,” Sprague said. “As a charitable organization, it’s hard to get exposure without paid advertising. I’d imagine The Cosmopolitan has a lot of food traffic. … We’re really happy with the partnership.”

Linda Perez, CEO of The Shade Tree — a 24-hour accessible emergency shelter for women and children in crisis — said while $0.38 may not seem like much, the donations add up fast. She believes those numbers are only going to grow as more players are made aware of the program. According to Everi, any operator with an Everi freestanding kiosk with its CashClub solution can have the Giving Module added.

“I find people want to give back and they want to help, but just don’t know how. This gives them another way,” Perez said. “Players’ ability to give back their slot earnings is just amazing. It really makes a difference in the lives of people in the community. … I can definitely see other casinos picking this up.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournanl.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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