Closing Out 2017 StrongBy Geoff Freeman, President, American Gaming AssociationSeptember 6, 2017 at 7:32 amWelcome back from the Labor Day holiday. As we gear up for a busy and consequential fall 2017 for the gaming industry, I wanted to reiterate AGA’s priorities and highlight notable activities.These activities will further our efforts to cultivate champions on Capitol Hill, shape a more informed perception of our industry’s vast economic impact, enable substantial business growth opportunities for and provide additional benefits to our members.In summary, AGA isGearing up for Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Las Vegas: G2E, “the show” in the casino -entertainment industry, is fast approaching: Oct. 2-5. With several high-profile speakers already announced and world-class education sessions planned, the show is shaping up to be one of the best yet. Register for G2E today;Building on Sports Betting Momentum: The Supreme Court’s decision to hear New Jersey’s appeal to allow sports betting has created momentum that we continue to leverage. Through the American Sports Betting Coalition and our advocacy efforts, we will continue to educate members of Congress and sports betting stakeholders – including law enforcement, leagues, gaming industry and broadcasters –on the benefits of a legal, regulated sports betting market;Advancing the Gaming Industry’s Interests in Tax Reform: The White House and Congress have promised a fall focus on tax reform. AGA will ensure that issues of importance to gaming, such as maintaining interest deductibility and increasing the slot tax threshold, are protected and promoted;Telling Gaming’s Positive Story: We’ll continue to travel across the country – including events in New York, Oklahoma and Detroit — to tell gaming’s positive economic story and cultivate champions on Capitol Hill. Check out GetToKnowGaming.org for more details on our events; andSetting the Industry’s Course through 2020: With your consultation, AGA has developed a detailed strategic plan that will guide our activities through 2020. To be released at G2E, this plan will highlight new areas of focus for the organization and new benefits for AGA members.A full list of our activities follows below. Thank you for your commitment to the gaming industry.Strategic InitiativesRelease of AGA’s Strategic Plan: In consultation with the AGA Board of Directors, we have developed our 2020 strategic plan, scheduled for release at G2E. Driving informed, favorable perceptions, state-based advocacy and new areas of research are critical components.Strengthening Responsible Gaming: We are developing a comprehensive strategy to communicate our industry’s commitment to responsible gaming and intend to play a leading role in changing ineffective problem gaming policies.Long-Term G2E Strategy in Development: We – along with Reed Exhibitions – are moving towards a more integrated 2018 strategy for both our Las Vegas and Asia shows. This strategy will enhance member benefit, drive media and engage with attendees and exhibitors.Advocacy AgendaAML & Compliance: AGA continues to work closely with leading federal agencies, including the U.S. Treasury and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and ensure that the gaming industry can allocate internal resources most effectively. AGA advocacy efforts are also underway on Capitol Hill as the House Financial Services continues its evaluation of potential modernization to the AML framework.Slot Tax Reform: Outdated slot tax reporting requirements are cumbersome and costly for patrons, casinos and the government. AGA will unleash an aggressive campaign to modernize these outdated reporting requirements.Yucca Mountain: We are working with Nevada Resort Association and other stakeholders to defeat efforts to store nuclear waste less than 90 miles from one of the world’s leading tourism destinations.Off-Reservation Gaming: We continue to work with Congress, the Department of Interior and our diverse membership to achieve greater clarity and consistency regarding the off-reservation tribal gaming application process.Immigration and Travel: We are partnering with the U.S. Travel Association and other industry stakeholders to monitor possible executive actions that could adversely impact tourism and the labor workforce.Compelling Industry ResearchState of the States: The most comprehensive examination of commercial casino gaming industry trends.Industry Review: An in-depth analysis of casino gaming regulatory and statutory policies.Tribal Gaming Economic Research: AGA will unveil Tribal gaming’s economic contributions and impact.Primary Consumer Research: A study of U.S. casino gamers to understand the needs, desires, behaviors, trends and barriers to gaming.Casino Industry Employee Survey: An overview of employee satisfaction, demographic, salary and other information.Industry EventsNew Gaming Destinations Event: In October, we will bring together gaming destination leaders to explore collaborative opportunities with the gaming industry and its executives.Comprehensive Member Education: We are continuing our multi-disciplinary summits, similar to the cybersecurity and innovation sessions we held earlier this year. For example, during G2E, we will host a summit focused on raising industry awareness around human trafficking. Rachel Brand, U.S. Associate Attorney General and Gila River Lt. Governor Monica Lynn Antone will serve as keynote speakers at this event.We look forward to achieving many important accomplishments alongside our partners and on behalf of our members.