WASHINGTON – The American Gaming Association (AGA) and the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) announced a new partnership to combat the unchecked spread of unregulated gaming machines throughout the United States. The ongoing campaign will focus on providing state and local policymakers, law enforcement, and regulatory agencies with new resources and tools to stop the proliferation of unregulated gaming machines.
Casino gaming is one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S. with more than 4,000 state and tribal regulators dedicated to overseeing all forms of gaming, including electronic gaming machines. The recent growth of unregulated machines across the country raises a host of concerns which the organizations outlined in a fact sheet released today. Among them are the lack of testing, consumer protections, and responsible gaming measures, which underscore the need for states with gray market and illegal machines to make this a priority area of focus.
“Stamping out the illegal market that threatens the safety of consumers will always be one of the gaming industry’s highest priorities,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “We are proud to work with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers and our fellow industry partners to combat the spread of illegal machines. The AGA is encouraged that policymakers in some states such as Virginia have begun to recognize the dangers of these machines and have taken recent legislative action toward outlawing them. Unfortunately, other jurisdictions where these machines have become pervasive may believe their only recourse is to regulate and tax them. Rewarding bad behavior is not the answer, and we hope our education efforts will make it clear that the only real solution is to stop the spread of these devices.”
“The regulated gaming industry has rarely been more united on a singular issue and now we have a tool to address the misinformation and deception that unregulated machine companies use to confound law enforcement, the courts, and local citizens,” said Marcus Prater, executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers. “The spread of these machines represents a serious threat to the overall regulated market that has invested billions in infrastructure while also creating thousands of jobs and substantial tax benefits in the communities they serve. Moreover, unregulated machines prey on confused players who see slot machine symbols and think they’re getting a fair chance when they absolutely are not.”
More than 20 professional gaming organizations have joined the AGA and AGEM in opposition to the spread of unregulated gaming, including the National Indian Gaming Association, the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, the International Center for Responsible Gaming, the National Council on Problem Gambling, multiple state casino and tribal associations, and both of the leading independent gaming equipment test labs. View the full list here.
About the AGA
The American Gaming Association (AGA) is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers, and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.
AGEM is a non-profit international technology trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of electronic gaming devices, lotteries, systems, game content, table games, online technology, sports betting, key components and support products and services for the gaming industry. AGEM works to further the interests of gaming equipment suppliers throughout the world. Through political action, regulatory influence, trade show partnerships, educational alliances, information dissemination and good corporate citizenship, the members of AGEM work together to create benefits for every company within the organization. Together, AGEM has assisted regulatory agencies and participated in the legislative process to solve problems and create a business environment where AGEM members can prosper while providing a strong level of support to education and responsible gaming initiatives. For more information, visit www.AGEM.org.