WASHINGTON — The American Gaming Association (AGA) today announced Whitaker Lee Askew, one of the Speaker of the House’s top aides and a political professional with extensive knowledge of and experience on Capitol Hill, as the organization’s new vice president of government affairs. In addition to advocating on behalf of the gaming industry on key issues, Askew will focus on broadening the roster of gaming supporters among Washington lawmakers to include representatives of all gaming jurisdictions, as well as those from districts not located in traditional gaming states.
Askew joins the AGA after a nearly five-year stint in the office of then-Minority Leader and now Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), where he was the executive director of The Freedom Project. In that position, he led fundraising efforts, managed day-to-day political operations and served as the key political contact for Members of Congress, candidates, businesses, donors and community leaders. Prior to working with Rep. Boehner, Askew served as political action committee (PAC) coordinator at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. While there, he managed the association’s political fundraising operations, served as the liaison to the organization’s board of directors and members, and directed its annual Legislative Action Congressional Day.
“Whit’s record of achievement here in Washington speaks for itself, and his contacts and experience will be vital as the AGA embarks on the challenge of introducing the commercial casino industry to more than 100 new Members of Congress,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr, president and CEO of the AGA. “In order to expand our coalition of advocates to reflect gaming’s status as a national industry, the AGA needs a strong team, and I firmly believe that Whit will prove to be an excellent addition.”
Askew joins a government affairs team that currently includes Fahrenkopf and AGA vice president Dorothy Jackson. He fills the position vacated by John Versaggi, who had worked with the AGA since 2010 and recently left to become vice president of federal government affairs for United Health Group.
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.