Washington, DC – Two weeks before a presidential debate in Las Vegas and ahead of the first votes being cast in Iowa early next year, the casino gaming industry issued a questionnaire to presidential candidates that will inform a voter guide compiled by the American Gaming Association (AGA) and distributed to nearly one million gaming employees across 40 states.
The questionnaire is the latest effort as part of the industry’s ongoing, first-ever Gaming Votes initiative to educate presidential candidates about the nation’s $240 billion casino gaming industry and to inform gaming employees about where the candidates stand on key issues. Casino gaming supports more than half-a-million jobs and contributes $75 billion to local communities in early voting and battleground states.
“Before casting their vote, gaming employees need to know where candidates stand on their industry and the most important issues we face,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “While candidates have no shortage of issues to consider and debate, we encourage candidates to take the time to demonstrate their support – through this questionnaire, a back-of-the-house tour and in other ways – for an industry that is creating a path to the middle class for workers of all backgrounds and experiences.”
The questionnaire, which focuses on gaming specifically and on broader business issues, seeks to gauge candidates’ comfort with embracing casinos as they campaign in states where gaming is driving economic activity and supporting job growth. AGA is asking candidates if they would be willing to meet with gaming employees at a casino, if they back an industry that’s supporting hundreds of thousands of workers and if they believe casino gaming is a positive force for economic development and job creation.
Topics covered include: daily fantasy sports; illegal gambling; voters’ positive views of gaming; immigration; regulation and innovation; and tourism. In the coming months, the AGA will use the information gathered from the questionnaire to compile a voter guide that will be distributed before voting begins with the Iowa caucuses on February 1st. The first-of-its kind gaming voter guide will be available both online and hard copy for use in employee dining and break rooms.
This summer, Freeman wrote a letter to presidential candidates encouraging them to learn the ins-and-outs of modern casino gaming in order to win votes among gaming employees. Over the past year, the AGA has visited Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada to educate candidates about the benefits of gaming and to mobilize the gaming workforce before casting ballots in 2016.
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.