Howard Stutz, Unmatched in Gaming Coverage, Leaves Gaping Hole as He Departs the Profession By Geoff Freeman, President, American Gaming Association March 8, 2016 at 4:33 pm When I took the helm of the AGA nearly three years ago, Howard Stutz penned a piece warning me about what I would encounter. “Overseeing the American Gaming Association is not like herding cats. It’s more like herding mountain lions. One misstep and you’ll lose body parts,” he wrote. While few industries rival the competitive nature of gaming, the same cannot be said for the press corps that covers it. Few journalists are dedicated to gaining a deep understanding of a business that’s unlike most, and those who do typically serve a broader business beat. Howard’s departure from the Las Vegas Review-Journal this month underscores the lack of well-sourced, engaged and dedicated reporters covering our industry. An already-thin bench of gaming reporters has lost its chief justice. Over the last decade, Howard has chronicled the evolution of casino gaming from a niche industry into a nationwide economic engine. He’s covered the unparalleled peaks, the depressing downfall and the slow-but-steady recovery of Las Vegas. He knows all the right people, and all the most influential people paid close attention to his coverage. His absence leaves a gaping hole. Yet this hole must be filled. Outside of Nevada, gaming is a unique, dynamic industry that merits coverage beyond simple monthly revenue stories. But in most of the 40 states where gaming operates, that’s the extent of reporting by the local press. Not in Las Vegas. Thanks to Howard, the Review-Journal set the gold standard for gaming coverage, looking at the industry from every angle. While Howard will be missed on a professional level, I’m glad he will remain within the industry as he transitions to Greenberg Traurig. While I wish I could offer him advice, just as he did to me, I doubt he needs any counsel for keeping his limbs intact in his new role.