AGA Withdraws Support for US Online Gambling RegulationPublished May 22, 2014 by OCR Editor
The American Gambling Association (AGA) withdraws its support for online gambling regulation in the US.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has announced that it will pull its support for online gaming regulation in the USA. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, AGA president and CEO Geoff Freeman said that the group can no longer support online gambling as the casino industry in America has become too divided on the issue. This, according to Freeman, has rendered online gambling "an issue that the association cannot lead on."
Freeman did not sound very pleased with the decision and its causes, adding: "One of the things I've learned in this industry is we are extraordinarily competent at shooting at one another". Freeman stepped into the shoes of the AGA presidency in April 2013, replacing long-time chairman Frank Fahrenkopf who served in the position since the group's establishment in 1994. Freeman's cadence saw the AGA shift its position on online gambling from impassiveness to an active fight for legalization, so this latest twist comes as quite a shock to many.
A Loss of a Strong Ally
While the statement does not mean that the AGA will oppose online gambling from now on, it does mean the group will be withdrawing from the debate and its lobbying activity to further online gambling regulation across the US. The AGA is the casino industry's top lobbying group on Capitol Hill, consisting of some of the industry's titans such as Caesars Entertainment, Boyd Gaming, MGM Resorts and Las Vegas Sands, with the latter strongly opposing online gambling, its CEO Sheldon Adelson vowing to spend whatever amounts it takes to fight online gambling in the USA.
While it remains to be seen what's in store for the fight to regulate online gambling in the USA, there is no doubt that it has lost a strong ally with AGA's withdrawal.