WASHINGTON – Top executives from the commercial gaming industry will meet with Capitol Hill lawmakers and administration officials today to push for a federal ban on Internet casino games of chance, federal regulatory guidelines for online poker, comprehensive immigration reform and smarter tax policy. The meetings are part of the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) annual Gaming Industry Washington Fly-In event.
“The gaming industry has gone mainstream, with casinos in nearly 40 states across America,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “Responsible for nearly one million jobs, gaming industry leaders today launched a dialogue with Republicans and Democrats on strengthening our nation’s economy.”
Among the industry leaders joining the AGA in Washington are: Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International; Patti Hart, CEO of International Game Technology; Gary Loveman, chairman, CEO and president of Caesars Entertainment Corporation; Jamie Odell, CEO and managing director of Aristocrat Leisure Limited; Tim Wilmott, president and COO of Penn National Gaming; Drew Goldman, managing director of Deutsche Bank; and investment banker Bill Newby.
These executives, along with the AGA, are urging Washington leaders to pursue legislation and public policy that will help bolster the economy and allow the gaming industry to continue creating new jobs. Leaders will ask Congress to address Internet gambling by passing a federal ban on Internet casino games of chance while at the same time creating federal guidelines for online poker that establish minimum regulatory standards, protect consumers and exclude bad actors. Such legislation also should provide Native American tribes with an appropriate regulatory framework to participate.
Casino companies also plan to express support for comprehensive immigration reform that accounts for border security and creates employment opportunities for the millions of immigrant workers who help their businesses succeed. Additionally, executives seek tax reform that reduces the corporate tax rate, broadens the tax base, eliminates industry-specific tax preferences and preserves the full deductibility of ordinary and necessary business expenses. These are critical topics for an industry that has seen three consecutive years of growth and, in 2012, the second-highest gaming revenues in its history.
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The AGA represents the commercial casino-entertainment industry by addressing federal legislative and regulatory issues. The association also serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.