G2E: Research finds nearly half of U.S. adults view the casino industry favorably Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · October 15, 2019 at 10:00 am Bill Miller formally opened the Global Gaming Expo Tuesday with some good news: a larger number of American adults than ever before have a favorable view of the casino gaming industry. The CEO of the American Gaming Association unveiled the research as part of his first “State of the Gaming Industry,” the address that delivered annually at the outset of the conference and tradeshow in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. In a survey conducted by The Mellman Group of 1,000 registered voters, 49 percent of those questioned had a favorable view of the casino industry, a four-percentage point increase from 2018. Miller, who took over the AGA’s chief executive position in January, said the favorable results coincide with a surge in casino visitation; the number of Americans who visited a casino in the last year was 44 percent, up nine percentage points from 2018. And, almost half of all Americans – 49 percent, say they will visit a casino to gamble over the next 12 months, up from 41 percent in 2018. Gaming revenue for the U.S. casino industry reached an all-time high of $75.4 billion last year according to AGA’s annual State of the States report and National Indian Gaming Commission data. The casino industry has paid more than $9 billion in state in local taxes. “The best part of the job is hearing the stories of how the gaming industry is benefiting communities,” Miller said. In a statement, Miller said the findings are consistent with previous AGA research showing nearly nine out of 10 Americans view gaming as a mainstream form of entertainment. “As gaming expands across the U.S. and more Americans engage with our industry’s offerings, they see firsthand gaming’s positive impact on local economies and its value as a community partner,” Miller said. AGA’s research has found the U.S. casino industry is a $261 billion economic endeavor that supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. “The more jobs than the U.S. airline industry provides,” Miller said. “The favorability of our industry has never been higher.” The gaming industry has been on a growth surge. There will soon be 43 states and Washington D.C. with some form of casino gaming or sports betting. In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, opening the U.S. to legal and regulated sports wagering. Since that ruling, 13 states, including Nevada’s legacy market, have launched sports betting operations through casinos, racetracks and mobile wagering applications. Another five states, along with Washington D.C., could launch legal sports betting by the end of the year. Six other states have either active legislation or ballot initiatives in place. The AGA has said $11 billion has been wagered on the activity legally in the last 17 months. Miller said the AGA’s efforts in the coming year will be working with states to “get sports betting right.” The gaming industry’s largest event kicked off Monday with conference sessions. Presented by the AGA and organized by Reed Exhibitions, G2E is expected to attract approximately 27,000-to-30,000 gaming industry professionals. The conference portion takes place all four days; the tradeshow runs Tuesday through Thursday. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.