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NEW POLL: Casino Employees to Flex Muscle on Election Day, Vote for Presidential Candidate Who Supports Gaming

Press Release
December 14, 2015

Washington, DC – A day before the Las Vegas Sands casino resort hosts presidential candidates for a nationally televised debate, 62% of Nevada casino gaming employees say politicians frequently succumb to casino stereotypes rather than learning about the modern day industry and the 1.7 million jobs it supports, according to a new survey released by the American Gaming Association (AGA) today. Nearly 40% of Nevada’s casino employees say they will withhold their vote from candidates who express negative and misinformed opinions about gaming.

The poll reveals that the vast majority of Nevada’s casino gaming employees – who constitute 15% of Nevada’s electorate – are remarkably focused on the campaigns, with three-quarters (73%) saying they are closely watching what candidates are saying. Further, 93% of gaming employees who are registered to vote say they are likely to cast a ballot in the general election.

“Nevada’s gaming employees are an electoral force to be reckoned with,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “They are tired of antiquated rhetoric and the frequent patronizing of our industry. Candidates who take the time to understand casino gaming will be rewarded in Nevada and across the country when nearly one million casino employees in 40 states head to the polls on Election Day.”

The new findings are the result of a survey conducted by Las Vegas-based Consumer Opinion Services from December 8-12 on behalf of the AGA, which is educating candidates about the industry and informing employees about the candidates’ views through its first-ever Gaming Votes initiative.

The research found that candidates’ views on gaming matter in Nevada. Eighty percent of Nevada gaming employees are more likely to support a candidate who understands and supports their industry. As evidence of this sentiment, if the election were held today, Secretary Hillary Clinton (27%) and Donald Trump (21%) would receive the most votes among gaming employees. Clinton and Trump understand the industry better than all other candidates, according to Nevada gaming employees. In contrast, if CNN were determining participants for tomorrow’s debate based on this poll, debate mainstays Senator Ted Cruz (3%) Governor Jeb Bush (1%) would be among those missing the cut.

Like many other voters, jobs and the economy (41%), national security and terrorism (30%) and immigration (13%) are the most important issues that will determine which candidate gaming employees support. However, Nevada’s gaming employees in particular also want a candidate that understands and supports gaming—and not one who relies on old myths and outdated stereotypes about the industry.

Further, with presidential candidates making frequent fundraising trips to Las Vegas but then bashing the gaming industry when campaigning in another state, more than half (52%) of Nevada gaming employees say it’s “hypocritical” for candidates to engage in such tactics. Nine-in-ten Nevada gaming employees say presidential candidates should also take the time to understand the state’s largest industry while they’re in Nevada.

As part of Gaming Votes, the AGA has visited OhioIowaColorado and Nevada to educate candidates about the benefits of gaming and to mobilize the gaming workforce before casting ballots in 2016. Casino gaming supports more than half-a-million jobs and contributes $75 billion to local communities in early-voting and battleground states.

This month, AGA issued a questionnaire to presidential candidates that will inform a voter guide that will be distributed to gaming employees across the country before voting begins early next year.

The poll was conducted by Las Vegas-based Consumer Opinion Services. The sample consists of 320 completed interviews, made up of male and female adults (in approximate equal number), all 18 years of age and over.

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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press release contact
Allison Nielsen