Reflections on an Incredible Year for Gaming

December 28, 2023 6:54 PM
Photo: American Gaming Association (courtesy)
  • Bill Miller, American Gaming Association
December 28, 2023 6:54 PM
  • Bill Miller, American Gaming Association

Gaming Colleague,
As we wrap up 2023, I have been reflecting on all that we achieved together this year to support a thriving casino gaming industry. Because of our work with AGA members and gaming leaders around the world, our industry is poised for yet another exceptional year of business performance.
This year, our industry celebrated an important milestone—the fifth anniversary of the PASPA decision. The rapid growth of legal, regulated sports betting, not to mention the massive movement of consumers from the illegal market to the legal market, has been nothing short of transformative.
As the champion of the casino gaming industry in Washington, D.C. and across the U.S., the AGA is focused on ensuring that our industry continues to build on its success. We made great progress in 2023. I want to take a moment to highlight some important wins.

Fighting Illegal Gambling Head On

This year, we took our fight against illegal and unregulated gambling to a new level. Specifically, we:

  • Scored big victories in Kentucky and Virginia to ban “skill” machines and applied a full-court press in Pennsylvania.
  • Spurred enforcement action to seize unregulated “skill” machines or stop faux fantasy operations in eight states.
  • Secured language in House and Senate legislation directing the U.S. Department of Justice to act against all forms of illegal and unregulated gambling.
  • Engaged with gaming regulators, state attorneys general and U.S. Attorneys to galvanize their support for combating illegal gambling.
  • Drove ongoing media coverage of the size and threat of illegal gambling in national and local media.

Leading Responsibly

Over the years, we have earned our reputation as a responsible industry. As we continue to grow, enter new markets and introduce ourselves to new customers—it’s imperative that we build on our responsible leadership. We made important strides in 2023, specifically we:

  • Launched a new effort to align around a strategic responsible gambling initiative to keep pace with dynamic industry change and rising public expectations.
  • Strengthened our Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering in significant ways.
  • Developed the first guide to anti-human trafficking in gaming and deepened industry-wide commitments.
  • Established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force to share best practices and inform related association efforts.

Shaping the Conversation through Research

Every year, the AGA’s research helps us tell our story in compelling ways. This year, we:

  • Commissioned a new economic analysis showing gaming contributes $330 billion to the U.S. economy, supports 1.8 million jobs and generates $53 billion in tax revenue.
  • Tracked American attitudes of our industry, showing our industry has never been more popular with consumers and 71 percent of Americans recognize the positive economic impact we have on communities—up 17 points from pre-pandemic levels.
  • Launched the Commercial Gaming Revenue Database, providing members access to millions of historical data points that benchmark domestic gaming performance in real time.

Advancing Priorities in Washington

Our advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. advanced key industry priorities, including:

  • Spearheaded the introduction of bills to repeal the sports betting excise tax and increase the slot tax reporting threshold.
  • Worked with the IRS Advisory Council members to include a recommendation to raise the slot tax reporting threshold in its 2023 report to the IRS Commissioner.
  • Bolstered the industry’s leadership on anti-money laundering through regular engagement with the U.S. Department of Treasury.
  • Proactively addressed policymaker concerns about sports betting stemming from sensationalized reporting.

Convening Gaming’s Leaders

We continue to serve as the industry’s indispensable convener. This year, we:

  • Gathered 25,000+ gaming professionals from around the world at G2E Las Vegas across 269,000 square feet of event space and featured 369 exhibitors and participating companies.
  • Organized G2E Asia – Special Edition Singapore and Asian IR Expo in Macau with thousands of attendees and robust exhibitor participation.

As we look to 2024, I’m energized by our industry’s momentum and the support of AGA members to advance our priorities. I know that by working together, we will ensure that gaming thrives next year and into the future.
Wishing you a Happy New Year!
Bill