Choosing the largest annual gathering of regulators—the 11th annual GLI University Roundtable—American Gaming Association President and CEO Frank Fahrenkopf last month revealed a major new initiative for the association—regulatory reform.
“From changes in the way games are played, where they are played and how payments are made, to the new technologies that make business operations and communications more efficient, these advancements and changes have and will continue to require new or updated regulations,” Fahrenkopf told more than 350 regulators. “The AGA looks forward to working with regulators and operators to draft improvements we can all agree on.”
He also praised the regulators for helping to provide the gaming industry with the integrity that is essential in today’s world.
Fahrenkopf’s presentation revealed the AGA’s 10 broad recommendations for regulatory reform, which include longer licensing terms, increased use of uniform license applications, several recommendations to reduce the oversight of minority investors and outside directors, streamlining of regulatory filings, elimination of minimum internal control standards, reducing red tape concerning the certification and transportation of gaming machines, and more.
The AGA has launched a new section of its website where the report can be downloaded at americangaming.org/regreform.
Fahrenkopf also pitched for a federal bill to legalize online poker, saying it would benefit all involved—casinos, lotteries and tribes. He admits there’s not a lot of trust from the other two parties, however.
“I try to tell our lottery friends all the time that every form of legal gaming must be treated the same and fairly,” Fahrenkopf said. “No one gets a leg up on anybody else. That’s been our position all the way through.”
The message isn’t getting through to the lotteries, however, he concedes, saying they think the casinos are trying to “screw them.”
Tribes need to be involved as well, he says, but they need to figure out exactly how. He says there’s no way the tribes would work with individual states legalizing online gaming.
“Tribes are never going to agree that they’ve got to go to a state government to get approval to run something, so you have to have the federal government involved to be the agency to work with tribes on licensing and regulation,” he said. “You need a federal presence.”
Regulators from around the world spent two days with GLI officials, attorneys and technical experts examining the past, present and future of the regulatory issues and concerns.