by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
Although the American Gaming Commission primarily favors land casinos, it has recently spent $400,000 in lobbying for internet casino gambling. The AGA’s top priority is to provide a better understanding for the casino gambling industry in bringing facts about gambling to the masses and to elected officials and media.
According to the Associated Press, the AGA has also invested in tax legislation that would affect online casino gamblers, such as Hurricane Katrina tax bills and employee tip tax compliance. Joined by MGM Mirage, Harrah’s, Wynn Resorts and Bally Techonologies, the AGA has made several attempts to create non-profit organizations that would promote travel to the United States.
Additionally, AGA seeks to educate the general public on the risks of problem gambling, and provides tips for responsible gaming. Since 2005, the AGA has introduced responsible gaming public service announcements via the Travel Channel in which they reminded casino gamblers “when you play for fun, you’ve already won,” as part of their “Keep it Fun” campaign. They raised over $115,000 for the National Center for Responsible Gaming.
The AGA continues to lobby for online casino gamers and during April through June of this year, they lobbied Congress, the Interior Department, the IRS, the Treasury Department and the White House. Among the officials registered to lobby for the AGA was Democratic Brett Hale who at one time worked under Representative Ed Whitfield. The AGA keeps its US trade doors open to not online many top land casinos, but online casinos as well.