Washington, DC – As a capstone to its first-ever Gaming Votes initiative to engage candidates and employees in the presidential election, the American Gaming Association (AGA) is encouraging the 17,000 Iowa employees whose jobs directly or indirectly depends on gaming to vote this fall. Early voting in Iowa begins tomorrow and continues through November 7.
Casino gaming in Iowa is a $1 billion annual economic engine that supports 9,500 jobs and has generated more than $6 billion in tax revenue for the state during the past 25 years.
“The 2016 presidential candidates have waged their campaigns in the casino gaming industry’s backyard,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “We encourage the thousands of gaming employees in Iowa to consider candidates’ stances on key issues affecting their industry – from tax and immigration reform to health care and infrastructure – and to cast their ballot accordingly.”
“So many Iowans benefit from the casino gaming industry,” said Wes Ehrecke, president and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association (IGA). “Our industry plays such a valuable role in the state’s economy and I encourage each of our employees to be proactive and vote on, or before, Election Day.”
AGA released survey research last summer that found that Iowans across the political spectrum embrace casino gaming, with liberals (72%) and conservatives (65%) alike saying casinos have helped with economic development and job creation in the state. By a 2-1 margin, likely Iowa caucus-goers said gaming has had a positive effect on Iowa.
As part of its Gaming Votes initiative to educate presidential candidates about the gaming industry in Iowa, AGA released its first-ever voter guide ahead of the February caucuses to the nearly 10,000 gaming employees. AGA, in partnership with IGA, also convened its first on-the-ground event of the initiative at Ameristar Council Bluffs with Congressman David Young and community leaders.
A study by Oxford Economics, “Gaming Careers: A Path to the Middle Class,” highlights the more than 200 job classifications gaming provides, including high-tech, engineering, software development and law enforcement, and that the industry is expected to add more than 62,000 jobs over the next decade.
AGA launched Gaming Votes last year to ensure that presidential candidates understand the important role gaming is playing across the country. In the key battleground and early vote states, gaming supports more than half-a-million jobs and generates $75 billion in economic activity. Through on-the-ground forums in Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, Pittsburgh and elsewhere, AGA has shined a spotlight on gaming’s role as a strong community partner, bringing together members of Congress, mayors and city councilors, non-profit and small business leaders and others to tout the industry.
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.