The AGA’s aggressive efforts to promote the value of the gaming industry, combat outdated stereotypes and pave the way for gaming’s next-generation policies realized more significant achievements last month.
The 2014 midterm election resulted in millions of voters who cast their ballots in support of gaming. It proved what we already know: voters across the political spectrum recognize that casinos create jobs, strengthen local businesses and benefit communities.
The AGA delivered facts to voters and Americans nationwide, and we will continue the drumbeat of the “Get to Know Gaming” multi-year campaign effort.
AGA Asserting Its Voice
Tirelessly promoting the value of gaming is a hallmark of the AGA. We push back against critics’ tired stereotypes, provide facts in states where gaming is under discussion and applaud forward-thinking policymakers’ proposals to help our industry thrive. Some recent firsthand examples include:
• Driving Delaware to take a fresh look at gaming policies by testifying in front of the Delaware Lottery and Gaming Study Commission. AGA’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Sara Rayme articulated gaming facts at the hearing, which will inform recommendations to policymakers for improving the statutory and regulatory environment for Delaware casinos.
• Encouraging other states to initiate critical discussions similar to Indiana’s proactive review of gaming policy, and thoughtful consideration of policies that would allow for the gaming industry to continue to thrive.
• Launching an aggressive communications promotion in the lead-up to Election Day in communities where gaming was on the ballot or under discussion. Our push included earned media promotion of a high-impact video that highlights gaming’s quarter-trillion-dollar impact.
Voters Reaffirm Value of Gaming
The midterm election resulted in millions of American voters casting their ballots in support of gaming. The results reaffirmed those of the AGA’s nationwide poll conducted by bipartisan pollsters Mark Mellman and Glen Bolger earlier this year, which showed:
• Voters across the political spectrum view casino gaming more favorably than ever;
• Voters’ recognition that casinos create jobs, strengthen local businesses and benefits communities; and,
• No state was more widely publicized and watched by our industry than Massachusetts. Voters of the Bay State considered an unprecedented casino repeal question at the polls. By a resounding margin (60 percent to 40 percent), the people of Massachusetts rejected tired stereotypes and cemented the role of casinos in the commonwealth.
In states where gaming expansion did not pass, such as Colorado, voters chose to protect the benefits realized from casino gaming. Additionally, voters in South Dakota and Rhode Island made the choice to further expand gaming offerings, believing the economic engine can deliver more for its communities with a larger portfolio of entertainment options.
While individual states will decide whether or not, and how much, gaming is appropriate for their communities, the AGA will raise its voice to counter false claims and ensure the facts about casino gaming are told.
Delivering the Facts
Authoritative research from the AGA’s “Get to Know Gaming” campaign has delivered credible data and messaging on casino gaming. While we’ve seen considerable support, there is no shortage of places where our positive story still needs to be told.
In the months ahead, we will release economic impact figures for commercial gaming states throughout the U.S. In December, we will debut a first-ever study on the gaming industry’s ability to provide a pathway to prosperity through its more than 200 unique careers. To accompany these strong statistics, we will release a video series that reveals many of the individuals who make up our industry’s vibrant employment base.
Leading into the new year, we will call on industry employees to stand up and speak up about how gaming benefits their career progression, educational advancement and livelihood. We hope you will answer our call and join the AGA as an advocate of gaming.