After a complex 2021, with a lot of work and a process of recovery of land-based gaming that exceeded expectations, reaching revenue numbers higher than those of 2019, the American Gaming Association (AGA) decided to take a look back and make a balance of these twelve months for the industry.
According to Bill Miller, CEO, AGA: “We began 2021 cautiously optimistic about our continued reopening, and, now, we’re celebrating the highest-grossing commercial gaming revenue year of all time. I struggle to think of an industry hit so hard by the pandemic that recovered in such a compelling way. That’s a testament not only to our commitment to safety, but our resilience and unity, as we faced the monumental challenges brought by the last two years. We should all be proud of how far we’ve come.”
In 2021, AGA’s singular focus was to accelerate gaming’s recovery. But thanks to the huge efforts of the sector, it achieved different goals:
a) A positive lobby on Capitol Hill and within the Biden Administration to block recovery-slowing policies like new taxes, support key initiatives (such as the reopening of international travels), and advance industry leadership on BSA-AML compliance.
b) Regulators were educated to drive payments modernization and support regulatory flexibility.
c) An active communications policy from AGA to inform media, policymakers and public through proprietary research program such as the inaugural Gaming CEO Outlook; a comprehensive report on COVID’s impact on gaming in 2020; and reliable resources like the Interactive Sports Betting Map, Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker and State of Play.
d) Bolstering industry responsible gaming efforts through the ‘Have a Game Plan. Bet Responsibly’ campaign, welcoming 16 new partners. Besides, successfully convening the industry during Responsible Gaming Education Week; and advocating for streamlined problem gambling resources.
e) Fighting and reducing the illegal market by working with law enforcement and policymakers to root out illegal gambling machines, directly educating more than 75 reporters who cited offshore odds, and informing the FBI’s recently released public service announcement.
f) Safely gathering at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2021, with more than 13,000 gaming professionals, an important milestone for the AGA, Las Vegas and the gaming industry.
In this sense, the AGA will continue to focus on gaming’s recovery in 2022, while also pursuing new objectives to champion responsibility in sports betting, especially as it relates to advertising and marketing, showcase AGA member efforts on ESG issues, and advance policy priorities in Washington.
Always alert on following challenges, Miller finished his statement: “While I’m optimistic about what’s ahead for gaming, the AGA won’t let up, as we face new challenges whether from the pandemic and new Omicron variant, or heightened policymaker interest leading up to the midterm elections. I’m thankful for your continued support of the AGA and the opportunity to be a part of this great industry. On behalf of the entire AGA team, I wish happy holidays to you and yours!”