American Gaming Association is launching a new effort to contribute to state-level gaming policy on a targeted basis. Until now, AGA has advocated for the gaming industry exclusively at the federal level. This approach was effective in preventing federal legislation that would hurt our industry. However, as gridlock continues to be the norm in Washington, public policy is increasingly shaped at the state level.
The emerging Massachusetts gaming environment—where policymaking is in its infancy—provided us with an excellent opportunity to launch our new strategic effort. AGA recently submitted critical comments to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) on its draft “Responsible Gaming Framework,” which seemed to favor personal opinion over proven science in establishing responsible gaming policies.
AGA has pioneered its own code of conduct for the commercial casino industry and has published a Responsible Gaming Resource Guide. Both of these resources outline policies and best practices that are consistent with the scientific evidence on problem gambling. AGA will endeavor to distribute and share these resources with the industry. We want to ensure that helpful resources are always readily available.
Our industry welcomes effective regulation. We also want to ensure that policies that regulate gaming are based in scientific evidence and do not harm the world-class gaming experience we provide to our customers.
Promoting Gaming’s Value in States
AGA’s recent comments to the MGC are only the beginning of our efforts to advocate for the gaming industry at the state level. We will be a champion for our industry and the many successes it has enjoyed in dozens of markets across the United States. We will share an accurate portrayal of our industry, support policies that promote a better business environment and vehemently oppose policies that lead to inefficiency and harm our customer’s experience.
I do not expect AGA to lobby in statehouses or to promote expansion. Our job is to share a story and effectively refute the critics. The value of gaming is a prominent topic for the media, policymakers and other stakeholders in many areas of the country. To aid the industry, AGA will proactively educate and aim to change perceptions of the misinformed by effectively communicating gaming’s many benefits.
A major part of this effort will be an integrated public affairs campaign that highlights gaming as a growth industry, community benefit and economic asset. From Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to Kansas City, Missouri, to the Gulf Coast to the Midwest, casinos are valued as community partners and thriving economic engines. Ensuring that communities across the country are aware of the various benefits gaming provides is essential as this industry continues to grow and expand.
We have an extremely positive story to tell. The gaming industry provides jobs, economic development and critical tax revenues that fund education, public safety and other essential services. We revitalize communities—particularly the many American communities that are in critical need of economic growth. The single biggest change that you will see at the new AGA is a relentless focus on promoting the value of gaming. We will be unwavering in our championing of this great industry.
We hope that you and others in the industry will join us. To stay up to date with and support our efforts, please contact our team at [email protected] With the industry partnership and support of AGA’s new efforts, this new strategic approach will ensure the gaming industry’s continued growth. As always, your feedback and partnership is encouraged and appreciated.