AGA President Bill Miller Sets Out Three Gaming Industry Priorities at 2019 G2E
Posted on: October 16, 2019, 12:47h.
Last updated on: October 16, 2019, 10:40h.
LAS VEGAS – American Gaming Association (AGA) president and CEO Bill Miller addressed his first Global Gaming Expo (G2E) on Tuesday as the leader of the trade organization, and said the industry is performing at unprecedented levels.
Nearly half of all Americans view the casino gaming industry favorably, an all-time high, according to the AGA. That statistic was part of a report released by the industry trade group during G2E.
Not only do 49 percent of US adults view the industry favorably, up from 45 percent last year, the same percentage also plan to gamble at a casino over the next year. That means 124 million people plan to visit a casino over the next 12 months, a 20 million person increase from last year
The increased popularity comes at the same time the casino industry is reporting record revenues. Commercial and tribal casinos reported $75.4 billion in revenue, creating an economic impact of $261 billion.
“The state of the gaming industry has never been stronger,” Miller told the G2E crowd. “It’s never been more popular with the general public, and it’s never offered more exciting technology and entertainment offerings.”
In laying out the state of the American gaming industry and to support its continued growth, Miller outlined the AGA’s three priorities for the upcoming year.
Getting Sports Betting Right
Miller said the US Supreme Court ruling last year overturning PASPA has put the gaming industry in the spotlight and in a position to attract new customers. It’s also connected gaming companies with new partners and new technologies.
And with sports betting ramping up to launch in Washington, DC, Miller said it will have visibility to political leaders from across the country, including those from states that have not legalized it.
“We’re going to make sports betting a showcase of our industry’s commitment to responsible gaming,” he told the G2E crowd.
Miller noted the efforts the AGA has undertaken, including funding a study on sports betting’s impact on health, establishing advertising standards for sportsbooks, and furthering its partnerships with law enforcement and regulatory bodies to weed out bad actors. He noted that all stakeholders have a responsibility in this matter, and that the AGA will make sure they understand their role.
Turn Public Support Into Political Influence
In his remarks, Miller noted the industry’s “colorful” past, noting the Mob Museum in downtown Vegas.
The industry has transformed itself over the years, and the public, as shown by the higher favorable ratings, is taking notice. Now, it’s time for political leaders in statehouses and DC to do so as well.
Miller talked about his interactions with civic and business leaders in Mississippi and Iowa, who told him how casinos have helped transform their communities. However, that message loses impact the further it gets away from casino towns.
“While their constituents see the important impact we deliver, many in Congress remain mired in outdated stereotypes,” he added. “Our intent is to change that.”
Miller said the AGA will work harder to get the message out and to make sure political leaders’ views on the industry aren’t set by what they see in television shows or movies. The association will make sure elected leaders understand the impact casinos have on job and tax revenue creation, as well as on improving and maintaining infrastructure.
Modernize Ability to do Business
With its entertainment options and innovative gaming technology, casinos represent the way the hospitality industry should perform in the 21st century, Miller said. However, he lamented that the industry still uses an antiquated cash-only system also associated with garage sales and flea markets.
Every one of you came here somehow,” Miller said. “If you took Uber, it was digital. You stayed in a hotel, you put down a card. You went to a restaurant last night or bought something at any one of the stores that we have, it was a digital transaction. Our customers are used to this. They will demand it of us.
“They should have the same seamless experience on the casino floor as they have in every other part of their life.”
Going digital promotes responsible gaming, Miller told G2E attendees. It will help customers establish spending budgets and setting time limits.
It also will help law enforcement, as digital payments create electronic records that determine how people obtain their money. It’s a far easier tracking system than what authorities can do with just cash.
“We’re here to help,” Miller said in summation. “We intend to be helpful.”