Through decades of collaboration, the American gaming industry and more than 4,000 dedicated gaming regulators have supported community growth. Never before has this collaboration been more important.
It would be understating the obvious to suggest that the pandemic has been disruptive to local and state economies and the gaming entities that support them. But working alongside each other, regulators and the industry have thoughtfully and successfully reopened the doors to gaming properties across the country. Because of their diligence, they have not only stayed open, but their communities have begun to see benefits again, too.
Those of us in the industry know this doesn’t happen by accident. It’s because of the partnership we’ve established with regulators that the industry can see the light at the end of this tunnel. And there are some silver linings to how we’re working together now, too.
Moving oversight hearings and meetings to virtual forums has enabled greater stakeholder engagement and transparency. This low-cost, high-value adaptation should continue beyond the pandemic.
Jurisdictions like Michigan and Pennsylvania have temporarily allowed the digital filing of some applications, saving licensees significant time and cost. Permanently moving this process to a secure digital format would significantly modernize costly and outdated mechanisms for licensees and lawmakers, while reducing or even eliminating the cost of storing voluminous applications for regulatory agencies.
Several jurisdictions have streamlined the licensing and registration process by allowing would-be gaming investors to provide brief registration statements to state regulators digitally. Implementing similar registration measures or waivers across more jurisdictions would unlock essential investments without compromising integrity, and enable innovations in gaming experiences and public health protocols to meet evolving consumer demand.
The pandemic has also expedited efforts to give consumers payment choices on casino floors. Regulators in Nevada and other jurisdictions have eased the process for bringing new payment products to market that meet health officials’ standards for contactless transactions, and supplement casinos’ already rigorous responsible gaming and anti-money laundering measures.
The collaboration between regulators and industry has created a gaming experience across the United States that is unrivaled. It’s why our destinations attract visitors from all over the world, and why people can visit our properties with confidence in safety, security, fairness and the expectation of a good time. Together, we’ve continued to innovate, changing with the times and shifts in consumer expectation. Time and again, we’ve succeeded.
As we continue to navigate the consequences of the pandemic, extending the smart regulatory innovations that have kick-started our recovery will go a long way in enabling our continued, mutual success.