The $240 billion U.S. gambling industry is looking to bolster its political influence with a national effort to mobilize workers behind its policy agenda heading into the 2016 elections.
The American Gaming Association (AGA), a trade group representing mainly casinos and lotteries, boasts a growing membership covering 40 states, and the trade group’s leadership vowed Wednesday to increase its clout in Washington, despite the loss of retiring Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), an influential congressional ally.
“We’re going to be more active in political discussion,” MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren told reporters Wednesday at the AGA’s shiny new D.C. digs.
“Because, as it turns out — you look at any battleground state in the United States, it’s more than likely that they have gaming there, with thousands and thousands of employees,” he added. “And those employees have a voice.”
AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman said the group plans to meet with all the
presidential contenders and speak to them about the industry’s economic importance, and to correct what he says are misconceptions about the casino world.