AGA: Going Forward By Geoff Freeman December 31, 2014 at 10:27 am In 2014, the evolution of the gaming industry—and of the American Gaming Association—was never more apparent. Through the lows of Atlantic City and the highs of Massachusetts, the AGA served as a passionate champion for the gaming industry. We are growing more inclusive of new players, more transparent about our initiatives and more communicative with gaming stakeholders in the United States and around the world. It’s been a year of many firsts, including our recent announcement of “By the Book,” a first-of-its-kind resource that allows policymakers, regulators and journalists and many others to compare commercial gaming regulations for each state. We also created the first, forward-looking set of Best Practices for Anti-Money Laundering Compliance that reflect our industry’s commitment to a strong culture of compliance. Furthermore, we released groundbreaking economic impact research conducted by Oxford Economics to provide the most comprehensive look at the vast, positive impact of gaming in the United States. As 2014 comes to a close, we have an aggressive agenda lined up for 2015 that will continue to bring the industry together. We will focus on three key areas, the first of which is an expansion of the “Get to Know Gaming” campaign. This effort will graduate to the next level, and we will build off of the strong economic data produced this year to focus on the people of the industry. In doing so, we will place a face on the jobs in gaming so policymakers understand the value of those who work in the gaming industry. A second area of sharp focus is exposing and eliminating illegal gambling, which is rampant across this country. Internet sweepstakes cafes, or cyber cafes, are illegal, unregulated operations that siphon millions of dollars in gaming revenue from legitimate, licensed operators across the country. It’s time to shut them down. You can’t look at illegal gaming in this country and ignore the vast amounts of sports betting. The issue is generating increased interest, which was evident by National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver writing an op-ed on the topic last month. The industry will examine the subject in the coming weeks and months to determine the best path forward. Our third area of focus will be the development of, and advocacy for, “Next Generation Gaming Policy.” The AGA will work with regulators, policymakers and members to promote innovation and reinvestment in the gaming industry, as the regulations and policies that brought the casino industry where it is today are not the policies necessary to promote reinvestment and innovation in the future. These are just a few items we’re working on for next year. Gaming is an incredibly complex industry that continues to evolve, and the AGA will continue to push for policies that encourage innovation, reinvestment and job creation. Geoff Freeman is the president and chief executive officer of the American Gaming Association.