As CPAC Begins at National Harbor, Construction of MGM Casino Will Be Front and Center for Likely 2016 Candidates

Press Release | 02.26.2015

Washington, DC – Conservatives descending on National Harbor this week for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) will see firsthand the gaming industry creating well-paying jobs. The new MGM Resorts International casino, which workers are building just steps from the site of the Conference, is a $1.2 billion investment that will create 4,000 jobs. For likely 2016 presidential candidates, this week will be the first of many opportunities to witness the unmatched benefits of casino gaming on communities in 40 states around the country.

In fact, in the key presidential battleground states, gaming supports more than half-a-million jobs and contributes $75 billion to local communities. As part of its recently announced “Gaming Votes” initiative, the American Gaming Association (AGA) is working to ensure likely presidential candidates recognize the vast, positive economic impact of the gaming industry, which is strengthening communities and providing job opportunities in more than 200 different gaming careers for people of all backgrounds.

“CPAC offers a fantastic chance for likely candidates to see firsthand that gaming is creating jobs, boosting local economies and providing a path to the middle class for hundreds of thousands of voters in Maryland and in key presidential states across the country,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “At every stop on the presidential campaign path, including in the casino cities of Cleveland and Philadelphia, the AGA will mobilize our workforce and ensure candidates know about the significant contributions we make to communities across the United States.”

poll conducted by prominent political pollsters Glen Bolger and Mark Mellman found that nearly nine-in-ten voters approves of gaming, and voters view gaming more favorably than ever.

Earlier this month, the AGA launched “Gaming Votes” to ensure presidential candidates understand gaming’s vital role in providing middle class jobs and driving economic growth. As part of the initiative, the AGA will hold local events in such battleground states as Iowa, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio and others; give voice to employees building careers in the gaming industry; and detail how our strong local partnerships are helping to rebuild American communities following the Great Recession.

Presidential candidates will be encouraged to embrace policies critical to the gaming industry's future, including improving infrastructure, developing a skilled and diverse workforce, promoting innovation and thoroughly reviewing increasing regulatory burdens.

A new Oxford Economics report, “Gaming Careers: Gateway to the Middle Class” illustrates the importance of gaming in providing opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist for hundreds of thousands of voters across the country. Among the findings is that 45 percent of the gaming workforce is composed of racial or ethnic minorities, far higher than the national average of 32 percent. Additionally, 20 percent of workers are Hispanic, which is above the national average of 15 percent. The AGA’s “Faces of Gaming” anecdotal employee video series builds on the report by profiling individual gaming employees.

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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