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    Casinos Encourage Candidates to Support Industry that Provides Path to Middle Class for Thousands of Latinos

    Press Release
    September 14, 2015

    Washington, DC – As one of the most diverse industries in the country, the casino gaming industry is recognizing thousands of its employees during International Housekeepers Week, which began yesterday, and Hispanic Heritage Month, which kicks off tomorrow. And as part of its Gaming Votes initiative, the American Gaming Association (AGA) is inviting presidential candidates to demonstrate support for the industry that provides livelihoods for the very voters from whom they seek support.

    “We’re proud to provide a path to the middle class for workers of all backgrounds and experiences, and we especially recognize the one-in-five gaming employees who are Latinos as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and International Housekeepers Week,” said Sara Rayme, AGA senior vice president of public affairs.  “As candidates seek support from Latino voters, we invite them to meet with our diverse workforce and gain a better understanding of how the casino gaming industry works.”

    Earlier this year, the AGA released a report by Oxford Economics, “Gaming Careers: Gateway to the Middle Class,” which found that few industries employ as diverse a workforce as gaming. Forty-five percent of gaming’s workforce is composed of racial or ethnic minority employees – far more than the U.S. average of 33 percent. Twenty percent of gaming employees are Hispanic, compared to the national average of 15 percent.

    The AGA supports bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in July to promote programs that many casino gaming companies already implement to help workers boost their language skills, further their education and apply for citizenship. The New Americans Success Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), improves immigrants’ access to English language and civic programs to help them fully contribute to society and the nation’s economy.

    Earlier this year, the AGA launched its first-ever “Gaming Votes” initiative, which is educating candidates about the industry and informing gaming employees about the candidates as they visit key early-vote and battleground states – which also happen to be casino states. AGA is compiling a voter guide to share with gaming employees – voters – ahead of caucuses and elections.

    About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states.  AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry.  It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting  against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a path for growth, innovation and reinvestment.

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