2018 will be a monumental year for the gaming industry. Building upon our mutual achievements of the past three years, the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and the American Gaming Association (AGA) are working to tackle federal prohibitions, outdated regulatory regimes and antiquated tax policies that affect tribal and commercial gaming alike. And more than ever before, we’re doing so together.
As our segments of the gaming industry have grown over the past two decades, so, too has our working relationship. Moving beyond a limited partnership at the annual Global Gaming Expo, three years ago we agreed to open communications and find opportunities to work together to address common issues we face in the industry. Since our first discussions in 2015, we have sought to break down barriers, making tremendous progress along the way. Together we have:
- Established regular communication between our organizations, so that both the AGA and NIGA are better informed and united on issues;
- Worked together to combat the IRS proposal to lower the slot win reporting threshold from $1,200 to $600; and,
- Continued our collaboration on numerous business issues that affect both sovereign government tribal gaming and commercial gaming operations:
- Advancing anti-money laundering efforts with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN);
- Raising awareness and education around the issue of human trafficking;
- Promoting responsible gambling across the industry; and,
- Educating our industry on the importance of being prepared for security threats.
We’ve learned through our successful advocacy and our collaboration in times of crisis like last year’s tragedy in Las Vegas that our industry is strongest when we work together.
There are a number of efforts we’re already working on together that will take shape throughout 2018, and probably many more that we don’t yet foresee. In the months ahead, NIGA and the AGA will collaborate on:
- The potential of a major social policy change regarding sports betting. The outcome of the Supreme Court decision in Christie v. NCAA related to sports betting this spring could have a profound effect on the gaming industry, and we are prepared for each possible outcome. Working together, AGA and NIGA will continue to ensure that all voices are heard as this potential policy change comes closer to reality.
- Introducing a joint roundtable for tribal and commercial regulators. Since sensible gaming regulation is vital to the health of every operation, tribal and commercial, we will convene all regulators in a forum where they can hear from the gaming community and share best practices to improve regulation nationally to the benefit of gaming operators.
- Enhance our collaborative meetings and engagements. Our two organizations continue to strengthen the tribal gaming education track at Global Gaming Expo and ICE Totally Gaming, and we look forward to this year, where for the first time, NIGA is hosting its annual trade show and convention in Las Vegas, April 17-20.
We’ve learned through collaboration that serving our members and working together are not mutually exclusive activities—we can, in fact, do both. Collaborating means seeking opportunities to work together when we can, and respecting that there are times when we cannot.
We have worked concertedly to approach complex issues as one united gaming industry with success, and will continue to do so. Understanding one another and collaborating where plausible helps us to make gains that have eluded us in the past.
Invariably, when we are in sync with moving the gaming industry as a whole forward, we all benefit and we break down barriers to new opportunity.