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    UNLV Debate Provides Critical Opportunity to Help Candidates Get to Know the Gaming Industry

    Press Release
    September 23, 2015

    Washington, DC – The casino gaming industry will take center stage when, as reported today, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) hosts a presidential debate in the general election next fall. Gaming has been a topic of interest in each of the first two presidential debates, and it’s critical that candidates understand the industry’s outsized economic impact. Across the country, the $240 billion industry creates 1.7 million jobs and generates $38 billion in tax revenues while paving a path to the middle class for hundreds of thousands of voters.

    “UNLV offers the ideal setting for educating presidential candidates about today’s modern casino gaming industry,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “The University serves as a training grounds for a diverse range of careers we provide not just in Nevada, but in 40 states across the country. We’re confident that many of the students candidates encounter on campus next fall will offer proof of casino gaming providing a path to the middle class for people of all backgrounds and experiences.”

    Through the Gaming Votes initiative launched in February in Las Vegas, the gaming industry is making an aggressive, unprecedented effort to engage presidential candidates and also educate gaming employees – voters – this election cycle. Earlier this summer, Freeman invited presidential candidates to publicly demonstrate an appreciation for gaming by visiting a casino resort or gaming supplier facility, and he highlighted that nine-in-10 voters in across the country approve of casino gaming. He also said AGA would produce for the hundreds of thousands of gaming employees a voting guide that outlines candidates’ views on gaming specifically and other issues important to the industry.

    Further, in a letter last month to Nevada’s elected officials, Freeman and Nevada Resorts Association (NRA) President Virginia Valentine wrote that they should ensure presidential hopefuls recognize casino gaming as a powerful economic engine and job creator.

    AGA has held Gaming Votes events with members of Congress, community leaders and gaming employees in Iowa and Ohio, with more to come in other swings states. In presidential battleground states, casino gaming supports more than half-a-million jobs and contributes $75 billion to local communities. 

    According to an Oxford Economics’ report on gaming careers released earlier this year, the industry provides fulfilling careers for millennials, a generation of people that is otherwise struggling to find work. More than a third of the gaming workforce is younger than 30, compared to the national average of 25 percent, according to Oxford. The average age of a gaming employee is 39 (national average is 42).

    Further, the report found that gaming offers a wealth of career opportunities to workers from all backgrounds with a wide variety of skill sets. Gaming employs workers in more than 200 job classifications, including high-tech, engineering, software development and law enforcement, and the industry is expected to add more than 62,000 jobs over the next decade.

    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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