January 28, 2021 Casino, Tribal, Legal, Land-Based

AGA CEO Bill Miller outlines gaming's recovery, expresses confidence for 2021

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American Gaming Association CEO Bill Miller held a virtual press conference Wednesday where he outlined the gaming industry’s priorities for a strong 2021 recovery.

Miller also delivered a letter to members of the 117th Congress highlighting gaming’s role in powering the US economy. 

In accordance with Miller’s briefing, the AGA released a four-prong list of priorities for 2021, beginning with Secure Relief and Recovery for Gaming in Covid-19 Legislation. 

Under Miller’s leadership, the AGA will fight for gaming inclusion in Covid-19 economic relief bills and argue for tax reductions that could boost the industry’s recovery. 

The AGA will also seek to block federal and state attempts to enact new taxes on gaming. 

“The point that we have to continue to make is that we play and pay an outsized amount as it relates to taxes currently,” Miller said. “We can’t hurt this important industry at the time in which we’re climbing out of what was an incredibly devastating period.” 

The AGA will prioritize mobile and online gaming and sports betting, according to Miller.

Last week Michigan and Virginia became the 19th and 20th states to launch legalized sports betting. More than a dozen states are considering sports betting legislation in upcoming legislative sessions. 

“These are here to stay,” Miller said. “These were important bridges that allowed many of our companies to continue to receive some revenue in a point in time where they were stressed financially.” 

The gaming industry is confident that President Joe Biden’s administration will be receptive, especially on matters pertaining to tribal gaming. 

Biden has nominated Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior. If confirmed, Halaand would become the first Native American to lead the department. 

“[President Biden] is someone who comes from a gaming state, Delaware,” Miller said in response to a question from Gaming America. “He recognizes the importance that gaming has had in the state of Delaware and his pick for Interior Secretary shows and furthers his commitment to and support of tribal nations across the country. I think his administration will be strongly supportive of tribal nations, and I think that will extend to those tribal communities and extend to tribal gaming as well.” 

In Miller’s letter to Congress, he highlighted the need for economic relief for tribal nations, including unemployment relief for tribal employers -- many of them casino workers -- who lost work amidst the pandemic. 

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