As we approach the end of the year, I can’t help but reflect on the great strides our industry has made in the last 12 months. From making responsible gaming a key priority with the creation of the Responsible Gaming Collaborative to the Supreme Court overturning the failed federal ban on sports betting, there’s no doubt that 2018 was a noteworthy and productive year.
First and foremost, this year we saw the success of the commercial casino industry is at an all-time high, having surpassed $40 billion in revenue for the first time. The sector has solidified its role as an economic engine, supporting 1.8 million jobs nationwide with an annual economic impact of $261 billion in the U.S.
What’s more, the gaming industry continues to serve as an active partner with the communities in which we operate, supporting local, small businesses, providing career opportunities and good-paying jobs, and contributing to local nonprofits and philanthropic initiatives. One way we honor our promise to our communities is through responsible gaming.
In 2018, the gaming industry doubled down on our commitment to promote responsible gaming and tackle problem gambling head on.
Earlier this year, the American Gaming Association brought together renowned thought leaders, stakeholders and academics to form a new Responsible Gaming Collaborative designed to identify the programs and policies that best address responsible gaming issues and hold government accountable for supporting proven, effective solutions. The establishment of the collaborative this year signifies our ongoing efforts to make responsible gaming more than a pledge and a true priority.
When the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting in May, we recognized that more people than ever could soon enjoy more gaming opportunities. As such, we are making it a priority to ensure that everyone—seasoned participants and new bettors alike—is aware of how to bet responsibly.
This year, AGA updated its Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming to include wagers on sports, as well as new advertising provisions to ensure casino and sports betting marketing is targeted to an age-appropriate demographic with tasteful content and reasonable frequency.
The Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) this year also opened a wide array of new opportunities for the industry to innovate and grow. As states and sovereign nations explore whether to establish legal sports betting markets in the new year, AGA will continue to work with all interested stakeholders to advocate for common-sense provisions that empower the legal market to thrive and shut down the vast illegal market enabled by PASPA.
Looking back on 2018, we can’t help but feel proud of the progress we’ve made as an industry and look forward to continuing to work together in the year ahead.