Since its inception, the American Gaming Association has contended that tribal and commercial gaming were different animals, and the AGA represented only the commercial side. That policy came to an end at the last board meeting, and produced results when the organization announced its first tribal members in January.
The AGA added six board members and three general members as a part of a new membership structure approved by the AGA Board of Directors in late 2014. The AGA is seeking to unify the gaming industry, and is doing so through a policy of inclusivity and transparency.
The new organizational structure and board member additions are the latest in a series of prominent changes under the leadership of the AGA Board of Directors, along with President and CEO Geoff Freeman.
“The gaming industry is strongest when it works together,” said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International and chairman of the AGA. “The AGA will be best positioned to advance our collective interests through inclusivity, transparency and a focus on issues of common cause. I am confident that the AGA and our industry are moving in the right direction.”
“Our goal is to elevate the AGA’s ability to advocate for the entire gaming industry—in Washington, in the media and in communities across America,” said Freeman. “In 2014, we established key building blocks in this effort, including strengthening our staff, increasing our advocacy on the value of the casino gaming industry and modernizing our membership structure. Today’s announcement of nine additional members—with more on the way—shows that our new direction is resonating with the industry.”
The AGA’s new structure includes a “seat at the table” for licensed and regulated casino gaming operators—commercial and tribal—and suppliers that comply with the AGA’s Member Code of Conduct and meet requisite dues requirements. In addition, industry allies, such as financial service providers, non-gaming suppliers and destination marketing organizations, have an opportunity to actively participate in the new AGA.
The six new board members are CG Technology, Greenwood Racing, Inc., Konami Gaming, Inc., Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), Seminole Hard Rock Gaming and William Hill. New general members of the association include Ainsworth Game Technology, Electronic Transaction Systems (ETS) and FinScan.