Washington, D.C. – If presidential candidates want to win votes in Nevada, they should learn the ins-and-outs of modern casino gaming, a $53 billion Nevada industry that supports 425,000 Nevada jobs, says American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Geoff Freeman in a letter to declared and likely candidates today who have demonstrated an interest in competing in Nevada.
“Every presidential candidate seeking votes in Nevada should take a stand in support of gaming,” wrote Freeman. “Talk to Nevada’s elected officials, especially those advising your campaign, who understand the importance of backing gaming. Meet with stakeholders who directly benefit from our industry, such as charities whose programs would not exist without contributions from casinos.
“Further, publicly demonstrate an appreciation for gaming by visiting a casino resort or gaming supplier facility. Take a back-of-the-house tour to see firsthand how thousands of hardworking employees power the industry that is the lifeblood of the state’s economy. Without a doubt, you will hear stories about how gaming provides a path to the middle class and opportunities to advance one’s career in a fulfilling way to people of all backgrounds and experiences.
“Whether one is an immigrant seeking a better life for his or her family or someone looking for a high-tech career, there’s a place for him or her in the gaming industry,” he wrote.
Three presidential candidates are descending on Nevada this week with the goal of capturing the support of the state’s influential Latino community. The candidates are speaking to more than 1,200 Latino leaders from across the country at Aria Resort and Casino during the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Annual Conference, which serves to highlight the gaming industry’s highly diverse workforce, of which 20 percent are Latinos.
In the letters, Freeman noted that voters across the country approve of gaming in record numbers.
“With nine in ten American voters approving of gaming, your presence in casinos and gaming supplier facilities will only boost, not hurt, your chances of securing more votes – not just in Nevada, but nationwide,” he wrote.
Beyond Nevada, Freeman highlighted that 40 states have casinos today.
“While gaming’s presence is largest in Nevada, it is not limited to the Silver State,” Freeman wrote. “As you travel to other key presidential states, you will quickly realize that gaming is no longer a niche, novel industry, but a nationwide, quarter-of-a-trillion dollar industry that is supporting more than half a million jobs in the key states of Iowa, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, among others.”
AGA sent letters to the following candidates: Governor Jeb Bush; Dr. Ben Carson; Secretary Hillary Clinton; Senator Ted Cruz; Carly Fiorina; Governor Mike Huckabee; Governor John Kasich; Governor Martin O’Malley; Governor Rick Perry; Governor George Pataki; Senator Rand Paul; Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Bernie Sanders; and Governor Scott Walker.
Earlier this year in Las Vegas, the AGA launched a national initiative, “Gaming Votes,” to ensure presidential candidates understand gaming’s vital role in providing middle class jobs and driving economic growth. Casino gaming supports more than half-a-million jobs and contributes $75 billion to local communities in key presidential states. On Monday, AGA is hosting a roundtable discussion in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to highlight the impact of gaming in the early voting state.
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.