AGA President and CEO Bill Miller sent the following industry update on May 15, 2020.
Dear Gaming Colleague:
As the country begins to open-up, the American Gaming Association (AGA) continues to advocate for gaming in Washington while focusing on providing research and resources to guide the path forward.
Below are some helpful updates on the state of the industry, what’s happening in Washington, and a few reflections on sports betting two years post-PASPA.
Stay healthy and be safe.
All the best,
President & CEO
AGA Casino Tracker: 52 Casinos Now Open
To date, 52 casinos have reopened in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington. Louisiana is the first major commercial casino market expected to reopen when its restrictions lift on Monday. Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Oregon will likely also see some reopenings in the coming week while Nevada’s gaming market is expected to reopen in a phased approach in late May or early June.
Industry Reopening Focused on Health & Safety
Reopening our industry requires reimagining every part of our business so that gaming employees and customers are confident their health and safety will be protected as they return. We know that every casino will have a tailored approach that aligns with CDC guidance, state and local directives, and the latest public health advice. Watch yesterday’s interview with Cheddar on reopening the industry.
We are focused on providing research and resources to inform the industry as it develops reopening plans to share with regulators and the public. Visit AmericanGaming.org for the latest.
ICYMI: The AGA collaborated with the U.S. Travel Association and dozens of other travel groups on the development of health and safety guidance to help the hospitality industry navigate this new normal. The guidance, reviewed by public health experts, focuses on six main areas for travel businesses.
AGA’s Next Priorities on The Hill
This week, House Democrats unveiled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a $3 trillion proposal that provides nearly $1 trillion to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to pay workers such as first responders, health workers, and teachers. Once this legislation clears the House, it is not expected to be considered by the Senate. It does, however, demonstrate the Democrats’ priorities as negotiations with Senate Republicans and the White House occur in the coming weeks.
Our efforts are focused on advocating for the following provisions in the next legislative package:
- Ensuring government loan programs are accessible to all segments of the gaming industry.
- Advancing measures that protect AGA members from additional economic harm and enhance financial solvency.
- Policies to aid the industry’s recovery over both the short and long-term.
Currently, there’s a wide gap between Democrats and Republicans on the big issues––and negotiations have yet to begin. It could be well into June before the parties come to an agreement and pass a new relief package.
Looking at Sports Betting Two Years Post-PASPA
Yesterday marked two years since the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Despite any temporary setbacks from COVID-19, the growth of the U.S. legal market over these last two years is truly remarkable:
- 21 states plus the District of Columbia have joined Nevada in legalizing and regulating sports betting.
- Americans have legally wagered nearly $22 billion on sporting events, generating upwards of $190 million in tax revenue.
- An estimated 100 million American adults will be able to place a legal sports bet in their home state by the end of 2020.
With sports betting still on the docket in 16 states, the AGA expects policymakers to take a serious look at expanding sports betting to fill budget gaps caused by COVID-19.
This weekend marks the official return of U.S. live sports with NASCAR resuming races on Sunday. Yesterday, the AGA held a webinar with Scott Warfield, NASCAR’s Managing Director, Gaming, to discuss iRacing and the future of sports betting.
The AGA continues to prioritize our efforts to stamp out the illegal market. But everyone in the sports betting ecosystem has a role to play––including the media. Read more on LinkedIn.