WASHINGTON— The American Gaming Association (AGA) today announced it has raised more than $675,000 for its Gaming Industry Katrina Relief Fund through generous donations from gaming operator and supplier companies, individual donations and contributions given during Global Gaming Expo (G2E), the industry’s annual tradeshow and conference.
The AGA established the Gaming Industry Katrina Relief Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, within days after the disaster to provide aid to affected Gulf Coast gaming industry employees and to give organizations and individuals who did not have a mechanism to contribute a way to help their colleagues in the region. Major contributors included Argosy Gaming Company, Ameristar Casinos, Aztar Corporation, Bally Gaming and Systems, Gaming Partners International, International Game Technology (IGT), JCM American, MEI, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Reed Exhibitions, Shuffle Master, Trump Casinos and others, as well as many generous individuals.
“The collective response and rush to the aid of those in need has been absolutely remarkable and stands as a true testament to the solidarity of the gaming community both along the Gulf Coast and nationwide,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the AGA. “The distribution system we have set up ensures that all funds raised will go directly to affected employees. We are grateful for the contributions we have received and for our ability to play even a small part in helping these individuals rebuild their lives. ”
The funds will be distributed to affected gaming employees along the Gulf Coast through existing 501(c)(3)-certified relief funds set up by gaming companies to help their employees recover from the devastating effects of the hurricane.
Companies that set up individual employee relief funds after the storm include Boyd Gaming Corporation, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc., MGM MIRAGE, Penn National Gaming and Pinnacle Entertainment, who cumulatively had more than 15,500 employees affected by the disaster. Money from the Gaming Industry Katrina Relief Fund will be divided proportionally among the individual funds according to the number of affected employees at each company. Individual companies will then disperse the money according to the specific guidelines of their own funds.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) is the national trade association for the commercial casino industry. In addition to representing the interests of its members on federal legislative and regulatory issues, the AGA serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.