To say I’ve begun my tenure as the CEO of the American Gaming Association at an exciting time for the industry would be an understatement. The Department of Justice issued its reinterpretation of the Wire Act on my first day, seven states introduced sports betting legislation in the final two weeks of January and the Bureau of Labor Statistics upheld gaming as the economic driver we know it to be in its monthly jobs report.
I’m proud to work in this industry with the 1.8 million Americans whose jobs are supported by it.
As you likely know, the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights industries that exemplify key economic growth. By focusing on gaming, BLS reported that gaming had the second-highest growth of any sector in January, adding 32,000 jobs and outpacing both manufacturing and professional and business services. Gaming companies across the country are hiring rapidly to meet increasing demand by American consumers who, now more than ever, are engaging in the many mainstream entertainment offerings our members provide.
Gaming offers a wealth of career opportunities for workers from all backgrounds with a wide array of skill sets. Over the next decade, the gaming industry is expected to add tens of thousands more jobs that support the working class and provide a pathway to the middle class, not just in Nevada and New Jersey, but across the country.
With operators and suppliers in 42 states, few industries employ as diverse a workforce as gaming, with workers in more than 200 job classifications, including high-tech, engineering, software development and law enforcement.
Almost 40 percent of gaming’s workforce is composed of racial or ethnic minority employees—11 percent more than the U.S. population. Within gaming’s diverse workforce, 75 percent of minority employees—and 71 percent of all gaming industry employees—say that the industry provides opportunities for advancement for workers at all levels.
This is a remarkable time for gaming in America. The industry continues to grow, and acceptance of gaming as a form of mainstream entertainment has never been higher. The January jobs report showing our industry’s remarkable progress is another reminder of the integral role gaming plays in communities across the country, providing rewarding careers and enabling small business success.