International edition
April 12, 2021

One-in-three American adults plan to visit a casino in 2021, according to new AGA research

AGA's CEO sees "an environment where gaming will thrive" as vaccines roll out this year

AGA's CEO sees
AGA's CEO Bill Miller on Thursday sent a letter to the Biden Administration and every member of Congress highlighting the jobs and economic activity that casinos create in local communities.
United States | 01/29/2021

During a webinar Thursday, Bill Miller outlined four priorities for 2021, including securing additional COVID-19 economic relief, and opposing efforts to increase taxes on the industry. He cited vaccine distribution, responsible reopening, and consumer confidence as reasons for optimism in 2021. He said there is "huge pent-up demand for gaming," and is optimistic about the 2nd half of the year in particular.

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merican Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Bill Miller delivered remarks Thursday on the future of gaming’s recovery, policy developments for gaming in Washington, DC, and AGA’s priorities for 2021.

Miller cited vaccine distribution, responsible reopening, and consumer confidence as reasons for optimism in the coming year. “There’s huge pent-up demand for gaming—and I’m upbeat about the second half of the year in particular. As vaccines roll out, people will be excited to travel, hungry for entertainment, and desperate to get out and have fun again. That’s an environment where gaming will thrive,” he said during a webinar titled "Accelerating Gaming’s Recovery: 2021 Preview".

AGA research shows one-in-three American adults plan to visit a casino in 2021—the highest rate since the AGA began tracking last March. Eighty percent of future casino visitors agree the industry has done a good job at safely reopening.

The U.S. gambling industry was included in a federal relief package last year. Miller said the trade body will fight to make sure it also is included in President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion virus aid package. He sent a letter to the Biden Administration and every member of Congress highlighting the jobs and economic activity that casinos create in local communities. Moreover, Miller said the gambling industry paid over $10 million in state taxes in 2019, and opposes efforts to increase them this year, even as states face large budget deficits related to the pandemic.

Miller emphasized that the AGA’s singular agenda in 2021 is accelerating the gaming industry’s recovery, highlighting four areas of focus:

  • Securing additional COVID-19 economic relief for the industry through temporary liability protections, investment in travel and tourism, supportive tax policy, and additional tribal relief.
  • Developing gaming champions on Capitol Hill and in the Biden administration.
  • Blocking harmful policies and advance specific reforms to enhance industry competitiveness.
  • Using proprietary research and strategic communication efforts to ensure the gaming industry is heard.

“We come into 2021 with a strong foundation, a clear focus, record levels of support among Americans, and a loyal customer base that wants the excitement only gaming can deliver,” Miller concluded.

On its website, the AGA released three new resources Thursday that were referenced by Miller:

  • AGA’s Accelerating Gaming’s Recovery priorities, which provide industry stakeholders with a detailed outline of the association’s 2021 priorities.
  • Casinos & Communities: COVID-19 Response, which spotlights first-hand accounts of how the gaming industry has supported its communities, aided frontline workers, and responsibly reopened throughout the pandemic.
  • Miller’s letter to the 117th Congress, which highlights AGA’s economic importance to the U.S. economy and details gaming’s federal policy agenda for accelerating recovery.
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