MGM Taps High-Profile Politicians To Chair New Policy Think Tank At UNLV

Steve Ruddock March 10, 2017 666 Reads
Harry Reid MGM UNLV

MGM Resorts International and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas partnered to establish a new, first-of-its-kind think tank — the MGM Resorts Public Policy Institute at UNLV.

The new think tank “will seek bipartisan solutions to a range of economic, social, political and workplace issues.”

Two political heavyweights will co-chair the think tank:

  • Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada)
  • Former Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Institute seeks to find bipartisan solutions

Boehner and Reid often found themselves on opposite sides of the aisle in Congress and at odds over policy. But in a joint statement, the two longtime politicos talked about the many times they collaborated over the years.

“While our public opposition on issues may be more storied than our private friendship, we have successfully collaborated on complex problems and signature ideas and look forward to doing so again,” read the statement from Reid and Boehner. “As passionate and committed believers in the importance of public service, we are eager to work with MGM Resorts and UNLV to inspire a new generation to serve their country through public office.”

The Nevada-based think tank will tackle a number of issues. It will focus on things that impact the travel, tourism, hospitality and gaming industries nationally and internationally.

UNLV’s School of Public Policy and Leadership will host the think tank within the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs. The program is currently waiting for final approval from the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents, which it expects some time this year.

MGM leading the way on policy

MGM has been quite busy in 2017.

The company recently announced it would be adding a responsible gaming program at all of its US casinos.

The program, GameSense, is already in place at the Plainridge Casino in Massachusetts. MGM decided to take the lead on this front and put it in place nationally. The company has also been expanding its footprint in the US.

The new think tank is another indication MGM is looking to take a leadership role.

“I’m excited about the possibilities the Institute offers to proactively explore issues and develop bipartisan policy solutions – especially on topics that matter to our workforce, our communities and the industries in which we play a leading role,” said MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren. “I’m pleased to have a partnership with UNLV, a leading academic and research institution, and am deeply honored to have the guidance and involvement of Senator Reid and Speaker Boehner.”

Not a new game for UNLV

For its part, UNLV has been doing this type of research for years.

University President Len Jessup said of the forthcoming project:

“Identifying solutions to complex public-policy issues can only be achieved through robust debate and our university – with its diverse expertise and capacity for community engagement – is a natural setting. We look forward to working with the leadership of MGM Resorts and the Institute co-chairs to further define a compelling research and policy agenda.”

Photo by Center for American Progress Action Fund used under license CC BY-ND 2.0