WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will receive the Industry Leadership Award at the first annual American Gaming Association (AGA) Awards Dinner Honoring America’s Gaming Greats. Singer/songwriter Paul Anka will receive the Entertainment Award, and two casino companies - Boyd Gaming Corporation and Park Place Entertainment Corporation - will receive special recognition for their role in promoting responsible gaming.
The event, which debuts Oct. 2 as part of Global Gaming Expo, the AGA’s first annual international trade show and conference, will benefit the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG).
“I am extremely honored to receive this award,” Sen. Reid said. “In my public roles as city attorney, state assemblyman, gaming industry regulator, U.S. congressman and U.S. senator, I have witnessed first-hand the role the industry has played in driving the tremendous economic expansion in my state. I’ve been proud to help educate America about the contributions gaming entertainment makes to Nevada and across the country.”
Sen. Reid was chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission from 1977 to 1982, and has served as a tireless advocate for the gaming industry since he entered the U.S. Senate in 1986. He has been a voice on Capitol Hill for the hundreds of thousands of people whose jobs are supported by gaming entertainment, and for communities where gaming entertainment provides a strong economic foundation.
Singer/songwriter Paul Anka, who was named one of Billboard Magazine’s most successful artists of all time, will receive the AGA’s 2001 Entertainer Award. Anka, who wrote such classics as “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” and “My Way,” has been a top name in the gaming-entertainment industry for several decades. He has performed in casinos nationwide, and his headlining shows in Atlantic City continue to draw record-breaking crowds.
“The casino industry has played an integral role in shaping my career,” Anka said. “To be honored by the people who have been so important to my success is extremely gratifying.”
In addition to Sen. Reid and Anka, the AGA will also honor two industry leaders, Boyd Gaming Corporation and Park Place Entertainment Corporation, for their significant financial support of the NCRG, the major benefactor of the awards event, which as funded groundbreaking research on gambling disorders.
Boyd Gaming Corporation, owner and operator of 11 casino properties in Nevada, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana and Louisiana, was a founding contributor of the NCRG. Park Place Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest gaming company, will be recognized as a member of the “Million-Dollar Club,” which has been established for those companies contributing $1 million or more to the NCRG.
“This is an opportunity for us to recognize the good works within our industry,” said AGA President and CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. “Our companies understand the importance of corporate responsibility and have stepped to the plate to support quality research and public education that will help us address disordered gambling.”
More than 700 people are expected to attend the first annual AGA Awards Dinner Honoring America’s Gaming Greats at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The event will feature celebrity chefs from across the country as well as world-class entertainment, with musical numbers by Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance; the Gauchos, from the Riviera Hotel’s production of Splash; and the Scintas, who perform at the Rio.
The AGA represents the commercial casino-entertainment industry by addressing federal legislative and regulatory issues. The association also serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.
The NCRG, created by the gaming-entertainment industry in 1996 to fund independent, peer-reviewed research on pathological and youth gambling, is a national organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of gambling disorders and to education programs for scientists and treatment providers. Since its inception, the NCRG has awarded $3.7 million in research grants and an additional $2.3 million to establish the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders at Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addictions.
For more information about the First Annual AGA Awards Dinner Honoring America’s Gaming Greats, or to receive a press pass for the event, please contact Naomi Greer at 202-637-6506.