American Gaming Association creates voter education project

Geoff Freeman, the president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. Photo from Twitter

The American Gaming Association is launching a voter education project for the 2016 presidential election.

Gaming Votes aims to educate casino industry employees, vendors and other stakeholders about candidates and their stances on gaming issues. Candidates will also be informed about the role of gaming in the American economy.

“The 2016 presidential candidates will wage their campaigns in the casino gaming industry's backyards – including at national nominating conventions in the casino cities of Philadelphia and Cleveland next summer,” Geoff Freeman, the president and CEO of the AGA, said in a press release. “Our ‘Gaming Votes’ initiative will mobilize our workforce, highlight the path to the middle class that our industry provides and emphasize our commitment to strengthening communities across the United States.”

Gaming issues are not typically a major issue in presidential campaigns. With the exception of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), none of the candidates from the major parties have had much experience with the sector.

That could change in 2016, at least in Republican circles. Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson wants to outlaw Internet gambling and has vowed to spend whatever it takes on campaigns and politicians.

Tribal and commercial casinos contributed $240 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013, according to an AGA report that included Indian County for the first time. Together, they employ 734,000 people, generating nearly $33 billion in wages, benefits and tips, and they support 1.7 million jobs overall.

Get the Story:
Gambling industry targets presidential battleground states in first-time political push (AP 2/12)
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