At the start of the new year, it’s important to take inventory of where we’ve been and how we can build on it.
We are coming off another remarkable year for our industry. In 2023, we once again upped our commitments to responsible gambling, we made our most significant strides against the illegal market to date, and we expanded legal gaming markets in 10 states. All the while, we climbed toward an anticipated third-straight record revenue year.
Along with our ability to offer customers innovative entertainment experiences, maintaining our momentum into 2024 will require working together to strengthen these pillars.
Bolstering Responsible Gaming
While we’ve seen robust and meaningful industry collaboration around responsible gambling in recent years, too often our efforts fall short of their full potential by remaining siloed between organizations. In 2024, we must double down on uniting to address critical questions, such as:
- How can we allocate our collective RG resources to multiply their impact?
- How can we strengthen our commitments to responsibility in advertising?
- How can we leverage emerging technologies to enhance player tools and resources?
Whether our successful effort to streamline helpline access or raising responsible sports betting advertising standards, we have proven that we are better when we work together on responsible gambling. 2024 will be no different, and will require everyone in the ecosystem to raise the bar.
Combating the Illegal Market
Responsible leadership goes beyond responsible gambling—it requires a holistic commitment to consumer safety, including combating the dangerous and pervasive illegal gambling market. 2024 will be a pivotal year for this effort.
At the state level, we will build on our strong foundation to partner with policymakers, law enforcement and regulators to advance state bans on “skill” games, seizures of unregulated machines, and regulatory action against faux fantasy operators.
At the federal level, more than a decade ago, Black Friday proved the U.S. government has the power to shut down illegal gambling sites, seize their assets, and make arrests. For me, it’s a question of when, not if, the federal government will take similar action against today’s offshore sportsbooks and online casinos.
Highlighting Gaming’s Impact
While the illegal gambling industry robs states of $13.3 billion in taxes each year, AGA research shows the legal market generates $52.7 billion in tax revenue and supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide.
And these contributions go beyond the numbers: our tax and charitable contributions fund K-12 education and after-school programs; they make critical infrastructure projects possible; they support lifesaving health care services; and they provide an economic backbone for many communities that have been overlooked.
In 2024, we will undoubtedly maintain and strengthen our support for our communities. But as our industry experiences mounting scrutiny, we must continue to tell our story. It’s the reason we’ve been accepted as community partners in 45 states and D.C. and it’s the reason we will continue earn support from Americans across the country.
Today, AGA research shows an overwhelming 71 percent of American adults believe gaming benefits the U.S. economy. Continuing to grow this number will take the entire industry speaking with one voice to communicate our impact to policymakers, regulators, media and the public.
As the convener of the U.S. gaming industry, the AGA is ready to bring our members and the broader industry together to lead it forward—and I’m eager to see all we will collectively accomplish in a year full of such potential. Here’s to a successful 2024!