AGA’s Casey Clark and company transform americangaming.org into a first-class industry asset By Jeffrey Compton, CDC Gaming Reports August 13, 2019 at 6:00 pm In the second half of 2018, the American Gaming Association began a very successful effort to resurrect and expand the organization’s primary website americangaming.org into a first-rate online resource for the organization’s members and potential members, elected officials, journalists, influencers, and the general public. As much as I’ve admired the work done by the AGA’s past administrations, it was obvious that americangaming.org was never a front-burner concern. The site was riddled with outdated information and outright errors. For reasons that I never understood, previous AGA communication teams created separate websites for their industry awareness and sports betting efforts, actions which left americangaming.org a neglected first-born. Casey ClarkEnter Casey Clark, AGA’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Communications, one of the best comms-guys I have ever worked with anywhere. After bringing on High Lantern Group as consultants, Clark and company were able to design, plan and fulfill the entire americangaming.org site rebirth in four months, while working through a leadership change, the ongoing national sports betting expansion, considerable travel, and back surgery. That is quite an accomplishment. And, while Clark always describes the process as a “team effort,” all of my sources are unanimous and unambiguous: americangaming.org is now a great site because of Casey Clark.Beyond the attractive and informative home page, the new americangaming.org is divided into the three core efforts of the AGA: Advocacy, Research and Responsibility. The Advocacy section discusses specific industry concerns: sports betting, tax policy, anti-laundering regulations, and much more. Listed under Research is the AGA’s “State of Play” project, detailing national as well as state-by-state gaming industry information. The Responsibility section now stresses the gaming industry’s commitment to their customers, employees and communities, broadening the organization’s earlier efforts, which largely focused on problem gaming. What I especially like is the site’s seamlessness. Whether I want to know the AGA’s (aka the industry’s) stand on Yucca Mountain, the number of casino-related jobs in North Carolina, or the latest efforts that individual gaming companies are undertaking to encourage diversity in the workplace, the answer is usually just a click or two away.Clark says that considerable effort has also gone into enhancing the site’s SEO, so that “people can find the americangaming.org site more easily and use it more effectively,” and into implementing a backend that is much easier to maintain. AGA team members have been trained to manage content updates. Anyone who has achieved a successful website will tell you that in-house user-friendliness makes all the difference in the world. “Most important,” says Clark, “we are bringing our members directly into the site (by offering) real case studies of the industry in action.” The moves appear to be paying off. According to figures provided to me by Clark, which I verified through several third-party web ranking sites, americangaming.org has seen a 550% increase in total site traffic, covering both active engagements and unique visits. According to Clark, the AGA will soon be adding member-only functionality and content, as well as implementing additional consolidation efforts designed to make americangaming.org a one-stop destination. “Like all websites,” Clark said, “it is a perpetual work in progress, but this is also a labor of love.” Postscript: After Casey Clark saw the commentary I received the following note: “You’re going to think I’m being overly generous, but each of these people had a significant role in getting the site to where it is: Allie Barth, Chris Cylke, David Forman, Anton Severin, Caroline Ponseti, Grace Bennett, Andres Tovar, Elizabeth Cronan, Eloy Martinez, Alex Aragon, Jonathan Michaels, Kerry Gaylor, Dan Bretl and Bill Miller. And of course, it was supported by former AGA-ers Geoff Freeman, Stacy Papadopoulos, Sara Slane, and Rachna Raniga. Told you it was a team effort.” And I say, Casey Clark is a class-act!