As the American Gaming Association continues to serve as a fierce champion of gaming, through the “Get to Know Gaming” campaign, we are:
•Aggressively communicating gaming’s benefits;
• Squarely confronting inaccuracies and myths espoused by critics; and,
• Assembling industry supporters.
Together with a unified industry voice and a strong base of gaming advocates, we can pave the way for the next exciting chapter of gaming in America: as one component of a community’s economic and entertainment development strategy.
Broadcasting Gaming’s Totality
Casinos are proud partners with communities across the country, delivering jobs, enormous tax revenues, charitable contributions and high-caliber entertainment. The AGA is promoting our many contributions through the Get to Know Gaming campaign and aggressive media outreach. Since the campaign’s launch in June, dozens of stories have run highlighting the industry’s success in strengthening local communities.
The story we’re telling speaks in terms of “gross gaming revenue” and the jobs within commercially owned properties. But this approach—as traditionally represented in State of the States—only scratches the surface of our contributions. The gaming industry supports jobs in retail, lodging, manufacturing, high-tech, mathematics—and this bigger picture is what we will begin to share.
At G2E 2014, the AGA—in partnership with Oxford Economics—will release a groundbreaking study on the economic impact of gaming in its totality. This research will strengthen the industry’s message for years to come, and fundamentally shift the way in which we calculate our impact. We all know that people and businesses well outside the casino doors benefit from gaming; this study will help us share that story with the rest of the world. Until the new report is available, please access the 2013 economic impact of commercial casinos within your state online at www.gettoknowgaming.org.
Our industry will take credit for its widespread economic vitality beyond just the casino floor, and ask our beneficiaries to echo gaming’s vital role as partners. Join us in spreading this message as we engage a variety of stakeholders to amplify our efforts.
Building New Partnerships
Our industry’s support extends well beyond gaming companies. The AGA continues to lead the charge to develop meaningful partnerships with policymakers and allies who realize the economic benefits we deliver. Our efforts to build partnerships have begun to bear fruit.
In early August, the AGA announced a partnership with KidsandCars.org, a national nonprofit group dedicated to preventing injuries and deaths of children in and around motor vehicles. Children’s safety is not an issue that’s unique to gaming. Tragedies take place at grocery stores, malls and other locales. However, the gaming industry is the first to reach out to KidsandCars.org to work collaboratively to increase awareness and to establish dialogue with casino industry security personnel to better ensure children’s safety.
We have also begun dialogue with some of the leading law enforcement authorities to continue to enhance public safety and quality-of-life issues, and we hope to soon announce even more formalized, collaborative partnerships between our industry and other important stakeholders.
Asserting our industry’s commitment to safety, quality of life, culture, tourism and other areas bolsters our position with policymakers. In Mississippi, casinos are proudly woven into the tourism destination’s product offerings. Webster Franklin, president and CEO of the Tunica Convention and Visitors Bureau, pointed to the need to embrace casinos as partners in the Mississippi Business Journal, stating:
“Mississippi has never truly acknowledged the gaming industry. Leadership has never done anything to hurt it, but they haven’t done anything to help it either.”
Together with an army of partners and strong ammunition in the form of new research and messaging, we can help policymakers understand that gaming is an economic powerhouse, and that we deserve a seat at the table when developing policies that influence industry growth.