The American Gaming Association asks US presidential candidates their stand on gambling

Presidential Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
Presidential Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

The information will be gathered to compile a voter’s guide, that will be later distributed it to one million employees of the gambling industry

US.- The American Gaming Association, a Washington, D.C.- based trade organization, sent a questionnaire to all the current Republican and Democratic candidates running for the US presidential election, that will take place next year, in order to learn their actual stances on gaming issues.

The inquiries include topics such as daily fantasy sports, illegal gambling, regulation, tourism and proposed Internal Revenue Service changes on tracking the activities of casino customers. The 10-page questionnaire was sent out two weeks before the nationally televised GOP candidates debate at The Venetian, that will take place on Dec. 15th. Democrat candidates have already held a debate at Wynn Las Vegas.

The trade group explained that they will use the information gathered from the candidate’s answers to compile a voter’s guide. The AGA will later distribute it to over one million casino and gambling industry employees, vendors and ancillary services, in 40 states, before voting begins with the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1st.

According to AGA CEO Geoff Freeman, the organization wants casino employees to know where candidates stand on the gaming industry related issues. The questionnaire is part of the AGA’s “Gaming Votes”, an attempt to ensure casino-related issues are accounted for during the 2016 campaign.

“While candidates have no shortage of issues to consider and debate, we encourage candidates to take the time to demonstrate their support — through this questionnaire, a back-of-the-house tour and in other ways — for an industry that is creating a path to the middle class for workers of all backgrounds and experiences,” Freeman said in a statement.

The questionnaire covers different issues, and asks, among other things, if they back the industry, what would they do to fight illegal gambling, if they would be willing to meet with gaming employees at a casino, and if they believe casino gaming is a positive force for economic development and job creation. It also inquires about immigration, specifically what would a candidate do “to support the many immigrants who work in our industry,” noting that “the gaming industry, as part of a broad coalition of business groups, supported the bipartisan immigration legislation that passed the U.S. Senate in 2013.”
The current presidential race gathers several contenders that come from states with actual knowledge of the casino industry, states with resorts owned by Las Vegas-based gaming companies. Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio, join billionaire Donald Trump on the Republican side. The first two oversee two of the largest casino states, and Mr. Trump -no longer involved in the gaming industry- used to be Atlantic City’s largest casino owner in the 1980s and 1990s, with three resorts.

Furthermore, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida, both Republican presidential candidates, have sponsored the Adelson bill seeking a ban on Internet gaming. And former Republican New York Gov. George Pataki was a co-chairman of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.

Furthermore, the Democrat candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, held office during his state’s rapid gaming expansion.