There’s no doubt that 2020 was the most difficult year our industry has ever faced. But amid the uncertainty and economic challenges, together, we made real progress for the gaming industry by achieving historic relief in the CARES Act, advancing payments modernization and continuing to build a robust legal sports betting market.
Despite recent setbacks that have forced tribal and state government leaders to take additional mitigation measures, I remain optimistic for this year. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the scientific community, millions of Americans are getting vaccinated, and new therapeutics are being rolled out to help control the pandemic. This will only spur consumer confidence in travel and build on the existing, robust consumer demand for gaming.
We are seeing progress in reopening additional key parts of our businesses like meetings, conventions and entertainment, with industry leaders in Las Vegas and elsewhere piloting and introducing new processes to safely allow larger crowds. This is a vital next step in our industry’s recovery.
The timeline of our recovery has implications well beyond the casino floor. The economic vitality of gaming communities across the country, especially tribal communities, which have been particularly hard-hit, depends on our industry’s full and quick recovery.
As your voice and advocate, the American Gaming Association’s focus in 2021 is singular: accelerate gaming’s recovery. Our team—empowered by our diverse membership—will focus efforts around four key priorities:
Build on our industry’s historic advocacy efforts by securing liability protections for responsible operators, additional support for tribal nations and incentives to strengthen the travel, meetings and hospitality sectors.
Develop new champions in Washington, D.C. by growing the bipartisan Congressional Gaming Caucus, engaging the 45 new members of Congress from gaming states and working with key members of the Biden administration.
Ensure favorable policy environments for gaming at both the federal and state levels by opposing growth-hindering tax increases, promoting competitive legal sports betting markets, pushing for payments choice on the casino floor and fighting against illegal, unregulated gaming markets and machines.
Drive the industry’s position as a leader in responsible reopening, and highlight the vital role our industry’s recovery will continue to play in the recovery of communities across the country.
While the pace of gaming’s full recovery is still dependent on factors like the speed of vaccine rollouts and control of the pandemic, the lessons we’ve learned throughout the last year have reinforced our resilience and prepared us to successfully navigate the road ahead.
These AGA initiatives—as well at the continued hard work and problem-solving that our industry has demonstrated on a daily basis over the last year—will be key to helping the gaming industry ride out the remainder of the storm into a bright new day.