Washington, DC – New bipartisan legislation introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives would promote programs that many casino gaming companies already implement to help workers boost their language skills, further their education and apply for citizenship.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) today applauded the introduction of the New Americans Success Act of 2015 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) that improves immigrants’ access to English language and civic programs to help them fully contribute to society and the nation’s economy.
“Casinos across the country rely on the many hardworking employees who are new to the United States, and we’re pleased to provide programs that help them succeed,” said Sara Rayme, senior vice president of public affairs. “The casino gaming industry is proud to lead the way in supporting workers of all backgrounds and experiences who seek a path to the middle class.”
Casino gaming companies provide robust benefits programs that include citizenship assistance, continuing education and language workshops. Oxford Economics, in a report released earlier this year, detailed the various employee benefits programs companies provide. Through one program, for example, employees receive a salary advance to help pay the citizenship application fee, free Rosetta Stone ESL classes and access to free workshops with leading immigration attorneys and representatives from the United States Customs and Immigration Services field office.
Casinos have helped hundreds of gaming employees become citizens.
The Oxford report, “Gaming Careers: Gateway to the Middle Class,” also found that fewindustries employ as diverse a workforce as gaming. Forty-five percent of gaming’s workforce is composed of racial or ethnic minority employees – far more than the U.S. average of 33 percent. Twenty percent of gaming employees are Hispanic, compared to the national average of 15 percent.
In addition to on-the-job experience and training, many gaming companies also offer flexibility for employees to pursue education and provide a path to upward mobility. More than 20 percent of gaming employees further their education and earn a degree. They also provide on-site health and wellness, daycare centers, fitness centers or gym memberships and other benefits.
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.