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Regulatory Resource

Unearthing gaming's myriad statutes and regulations

The American Gaming Association recently released a first-of-its-kind online resource that enables industry stakeholders, gaming policymakers and regulators to easily access gaming policies across each of the 23 commercial casino gaming states. This new tool, called “By the Book” (gamingbythebook.org),  shines a light on the vast discrepancies in gaming regulations and the need for more consistent, pro-growth policies across the United States.

By the Book aggregates and explains key gaming regulatory and statutory requirements in five key areas: regulatory oversight, licensing, taxation, responsible gaming and integrity. Historically, this information has only been accessible within the public records for every state. Now, relevant gaming information can be viewed all in one location, which allows stakeholders, policymakers, regulators and gaming journalists to compare commercial gaming regulations for each state.

 Modernizing gaming regulations and policies was a priority of the AGA in 2014, and we look forward to working with stakeholders, particularly gaming regulators, to build a stronger foundation for gaming innovation and reinvestment in 2015 and beyond. 

Streamlined Access to Complex Gaming Policy

Casino gaming companies conduct business in an exceedingly complex policy environment that is controlled almost exclusively at the state level. Gaming statutes and regulations can consist of thousands of detailed pages of information in a variety of areas from chips transportation to on-premise display requirement.

By the Book streamlines key statutes and regulations into a quick and easy overview of regulatory structures across jurisdictions in an interactive, easy-to-use platform. The tool enables an efficient understanding of our industry’s detailed and complex regulations across the country—making available information that would otherwise only be accessible through state records. Moreover, as regulations and statutes change, so will this resource; updates to By the Book are made quarterly.

Gain Insight Quickly and Easily

By the Book provides an easy-to-access interactive database of statutes and regulations in the following key issues:

• Regulatory Oversight: Features relevant information regarding each state’s governing body. This includes up-to-date mailing addresses, contact information, websites and other details. 

• Licensing: Addresses requirements that operators, suppliers or employees need to fulfill in order to do business in a particular state. This section not only highlights the costs and fees associated with licensing, but also information on how frequently renewals are needed.

• Taxation: Details the various gaming tax rates in each of the 23 states where commercial casinos are located. This section also discusses how those taxes are being reinvested and includes information on the taxation of promotional credit, as well as thresholds for withholding tax on customers’ gambling winnings.

• Responsible Gaming: An important component of the gaming industry, this section details funding requirements for problem gambling awareness education. It also discusses responsible gaming issues that vary from state to state, such as self-exclusion programs, alcohol service rules, advertising restrictions and measures regarding prevention of underage gambling.

• Integrity: Details many of the requirements that ensure our industry remains a hallmark for integrity and transparency. The By the Book database highlights how the various states treat issues such as gaming equipment testing needs, anti-money laundering provisions and shipping requirements for gaming devices.

Building a modernized regulatory and policy environment is a top priority for the AGA. For many months, the AGA has been convening our members, gaming regulators, legislators and other influencers to develop guiding principles and recommendations for what we call “Next-Generation Gaming Policy.” This policy document and its suggestions for policy and regulatory changes that aim to spur innovation and reinvestment in the gaming industry will be released in the spring. 

Gaming is an incredibly complex and heavily regulated industry that continues to evolve. Our first step was getting a better understanding of these complexities and better revealing them to stakeholders, media and policymakers. Our next step of developing guiding principles and policy recommendations will push for an environment that encourages innovation, reinvestment and job creation for gaming.

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