AGA Sets Out Vision In Helping Get US Economy Back On Track

Following last week’s call to enter the US gaming industry in a concerted recovery effort, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has set out its vision of the role that the industry will play in helping to get the economy back on track.

Pandemic Affect On Gaming

Summarizing the harm inflicted on the business, the association said in a statement: “Our dynamic industry came to a standstill in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic indiscriminately hurt gaming businesses, employees, and communities. All 989 commercial and tribal gaming properties shut down and sportsbooks went dark, decimating demand for gaming suppliers’ innovative products.

“For several months, these closures cut off a major economic driver in communities across 44 states, severely impacted one million American gaming and small business workers, and cost the economy an estimated $105bn in lost economic activity. 

“As we welcomed customers and employees back, the gaming industry led the way for responsible reopening by implementing strict safety protocols, adhering to evolving state and local health regulations, and investing millions of dollars in innovative solutions to promote health and safety.” 

Accelerated recovery

With a flourishing gaming industry, the AGA said, America’s economic recovery and that of communities around the world could be accelerated. The association is singularly focused on one goal, accelerating gaming’s recovery, as the voice of the US casino gaming industry.

Key goals

The AGA noted four key goals, outlining its 2021 priorities to bring about a return to a vibrant economic engine for communities across the world. The first is the COVID-19 Legislation to secure relief and recovery for gaming. This would include ensuring the inclusion of gaming in the federal economic relief law of COVID-19, lobbying for tax deductions, protecting the responsibility of responsible operators and flexibility for tribal nations to invest funds under the CARES Act and increasing compensation for the cost of unemployment insurance.

The second goal is to create new champions to support the recovery of gaming by engaging the bipartisan Congressional Gaming Caucus with every member of Congress from gaming states and all decision-makers in the Biden administration.

Thirdly, by defeating federal efforts to impose higher taxes, limit resort rates, or enact new mandates, the AGA aims to block harmful legislation and advance concrete changes to increase industry competitiveness. In addition, it said it would support efforts to broaden the legal sports betting market responsibly and shield sports betting from federal interference and regulation.

Finally, the AGA said that proprietary analysis and strategic marketing efforts will be used to ensure that the gaming industry is understood by providing original research items that offer unique insights into the effects of the gaming industry. It will also highlight the industry’s commitment to health and safety policies that protect communities, consumers, and workers, and highlight the industry’s commitment to responsible gaming.

Working with policymakers

The plan is underway, with the AGA having already written to Congress to highlight the problems facing the industry and its ability to work constructively for the nation with policymakers during this challenging time.

Bill Miller, President and CEO, wrote: “As our country emerges from this pandemic, I am confident gaming’s role as a significant economic engine and job creator will aid in our nation’s recovery. A recovery that will be enhanced by additional federal relief to support the nearly 1,000 commercial and tribal casinos, gaming manufacturers, and other affiliated businesses decimated by the pandemic.”