A month after opening their National Harbor casino near Washington, DC, MGM Resorts, according to a recent announcement, are taking another step in establishing their presence in the nation’s capital by setting up an office, the purpose of which they say would be “policymaking”. The new office will be located at 501 C Street in North-East DC, in a 19th century, 6,845 square feet building for which the company reportedly paid $3.7 million.
One of the reasons for setting up the new office space is most likely the retirement of Senator Harry Reid from the district of Nevada, who was a senate minority leader that had thus far been a strong ally to Las Vegas lobbyists. With Reid now in retirement, MGM Resorts turned to hiring his former Chief Counsel Ayesha Khanna to be in charge of the DC office under the role of “senior vice president of federal government affairs”.
Another reason might be that Jim Murren, MGM’s CEO, has been a vocal opponent of Donald Trump and a strong supporter of Clinton’s presidency run. Even after Trump took the victory home, Murren did not stop publicly expressing his criticism over Trump for a number of reasons, one of which was his effect on U.S. relations with China. Murren, whose company owns the MGM Grand Macau through its China subsidiary, understandably finds US-China relations more than important.
With Reid out of the picture, MGM Resorts will need additional help in lobbying for new legislations in DC, together with the American Gaming Association, whose offices will now be in a one-mile vicinity of MGM’s. Khanna’s role in the policymaking HQ could prove useful for the company.