Washington—The American Gaming Association today launched its most aggressive effort ever to promote the value of the gaming industry, combat outdated stereotypes and pave the way for gaming’s next generation where regulatory policy must encourage innovation and financial efficiencies.
The AGA’s “Get to Know Gaming” campaign will tell the story of gaming’s impact on communities across the country through cutting-edge communication techniques informing policymakers, opinion leaders and other key influencers. “Get to Know Gaming” will highlight the industry’s trusted partnership with community leaders, law enforcement, small businesses and the nearly one million Americans it employs.
“The American Gaming Association will ensure that our industry’s extraordinary story is heard,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “We are entering a critical stage in the gaming industry’s evolution. Nationwide expansion is running headfirst into unsustainable tax rates and regulatory inefficiencies. ‘Get to Know Gaming’ will help to establish gaming as a mainstream business and pave the way for critical, pro-innovation reforms.”
In early June, the AGA will kick-off its campaign with the release of a detailed, nationwide survey providing an up-to-date profile of casino visitors and valuable insights about the people who enjoy the entertainment options casinos offer.
Promote the Value of Gaming
Gaming is an engine of growth that powers economic development and job creation everywhere it operates. According to a 2012 report by the Brattle Group, the commercial casino industry generates about $125 billion per year in direct and indirect spending, including purchases from suppliers and salaries and benefits for more than 800,000 employees across the U.S.
Gaming-related jobs span a range of responsibilities that extend far beyond the casino floor. Professionals in accounting, hotel management, information systems, technology, software, food and beverage, retail, entertainment and more find rewarding careers in the gaming industry.
These jobs were supported by the more than one-third of Americans – or about 76 million people – who visited a casino in 2012. Half of all Americans enjoyed one form of gaming or another, such as lotteries.
Combat Outdated Stereotypes
Americans deserve the facts, rather than tired myths, about the gaming industry. Communities with casinos have found them to be outstanding partners that fully integrate with the cities and towns in which they operate. Casinos buy supplies from local small businesses, including minority- and women- owned companies, hire local workers and partner with local charitable organizations. They also attract visitors of all types who want to enjoy the variety of entertainment options casinos provide.
The “Get to Know Gaming” campaign will release its most expansive, compelling research yet to show what Bethlehem, PA, Kansas City, MO, and communities with gaming across the country already understand: that casinos attract a diverse group of visitors and serve as valued partners and as one component of a strategic and multifaceted economic development plan.
Pave the Way for Regulatory Policy that Encourages Innovation, Efficiencies
Across the U.S., all but two states now allow some form of gaming, which testifies to the widespread acceptance and appeal of gaming as an entertainment option. Yet as more casinos have opened their doors, competition has increased and given consumers more gaming options.
Many industries demand tax subsidies from states and communities before opening a plant or manufacturing site. But many states adopt the “tax and torture” model with the gaming industry. Rather than tax breaks in exchange for creating jobs, the gaming industry often confronts punitive tax rates that limit the industry’s ability to innovate and reinvest in its product.
The “Get to Know Gaming” campaign will help pave the way for more states to view casino operators as partners and adopt policies that reflect that mindset.