It’s been more than two years since Geoff Freeman took over as president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. One of the first appointments he made was to name Ron
Rosenbaum as chief operating officer of the organization, responsible for member engagement and retention, finance, human resources, IT operations and conferences and events, including G2E, the world’s largest gaming trade show.
With a long history of association management, Rosenbaum most recently was senior vice president, marketing and development for the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.
Rosenbaum is proud of the accomplishments the AGA has posted in those first two years. “The most important change we’ve made is to restructure the association to allow the AGA to be more inclusive and ultimately be truly representative of the casino gaming industry,” he says. “Now, when we speak on behalf of the industry, our perspective is informed by the majority of the industry. We’ve given everyone in the industry a seat at the table, which makes us smarter and better prepared on issues of importance.
“We’re also telling the story of gaming, to push back using real facts on a lot of these antiquated myths that have existed for some time. We have a wonderful story to tell.”
In the last two years, the board of the AGA has expanded, bringing more knowledge and credibility to the organization.
“By having a board that is larger and more substantial, we can get a variety of different perspectives on issues where we’re deciding on what kind of position to take.”
With the U.S. presidential election ramping up in 2016, Rosenbaum believes the association’s “Gaming Votes” campaign will play an important role in getting the industry’s story out to elected officials and would-be elected officials.
“This is a real opportunity for us to educate politicians who have aspirations for the White House,” he says. “But beyond that, we can get out on a national platform and even into the states to tell the story of this great industry.”
This campaign has also helped the AGA build relationships with congressmen and public officials who advocate for the industry.
“When you have allies and advocates that you can call upon in time of need, it’s a very powerful tool,” says Rosenbaum.
One of the issues the AGA will address this year is sports betting. Rosenbaum says designing a pro-sports betting campaign was very process-driven.
“We created a sports betting task force, made up of many individuals within the gaming industry,” he says. “When the time comes to advocate, we’ll know what the industry thinks and we’ll be prepared to take a position.”
In addition to board members who are active in the gaming industry but also have business in other industries, the AGA has signed up its first tribal board members.
“We wanted to bring together all these members under the AGA tent,” says Rosenbaum.
“I feel like we’re really in a good place and will continue our growth and impact over the next year and in the future.”