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ICE VOX: American gaming model a “successful long-term endeavour”

| By Marese O'Hagan
During ICE Vox today, (5 February) Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA), said it believes the American model of gaming showcased worldwide is a “successful long-term endeavour”.
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The comment was made at the ECA Opening: Global Associations panel at the International Casino Conference. The panel was moderated by Tom Nieman, principle of Apollo Gaming Group.

The panel also featured Erwin van Lambaart, chairman of the European Casino Association and Ernest Stevens Jr, chairman of the Indian Gaming Association.

Bill Miller, CEO, American Gaming Association
Miller named MGM, Wynn and Sands as three operators that put Macau on the map

Miller was outlining how the expansion of a number of major US operators to other markets has worked out positively.

“The American Gaming Association, our principle focus is on American gaming, mostly US, but certainly… in the American Gaming Association, we have some tribal members who are exporting what we would call the American blueprint to other places,” he explained.

“Certainly, Macau is a great example of three large American operators – MGM, Wynn, Sands – who had a vision to take Macau and expand it to what it is today, which is arguably the largest gaming epicentre in the world.”

US gaming growth shown worldwide

This growth is also being seen as far as the Middle East, Miller continued.

“We continue to see year-on-year growth within the confines of the US, but we are also seeing continuing growth in places – this past summer I was in Dubai, where Wynn is in the process of building what will be the first casino in the Middle East,” he continued.

“Certainly, this kind of American model – whether it’s commercial or tribal – is something that we believe is a successful long-term endeavour, which has shown itself to be very successful in the US, and also successful around the world.”

ECA chair Erwin van Lambaart
Van Lambaart said the ECA prioritised strengthening the industry after the pandemic

Van Lambaart spoke about Europe’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, which he said has required prioritisation – but has been an overall success.

“Like many continents, during the pandemic, we had a really horrible time,” said Van Lambaart. “Our first focus has been to come out of that and make the industry stronger.

“We organised and innovated at the same time, which I think a majority of our members and casinos have been quite successful at. It’s the same situation with us in Europe.”

However, he admitted that this innovation is “quite problematic”, adding that “in general, regulators don’t like innovation that much”.

Elsewhere, Van Lambaart declared inclusivity as “absolutely crucial” for the industry, adding that “new talent needs new role models”.

“We have a responsibility to our communities”

Meanwhile Stevens was emphatic about the responsibility tribal gaming associations have towards those who choose to play with them.

“We have a responsibility to our communities,” he stated. “From day one – regulation. Day one – security. Day one – responsible gaming.

ICE Vox US growth
RegulAtion, security and responsible gaming are priorities, said Stevens

“All those things are right there for us to move forward and analyse and get better and stronger at. We’re constantly scrutinising the world around us, not just to create a better tomorrow, but also a safer tomorrow.”

Along this thread Stevens also spoke of the importance of participating in the upcoming US presidential election.

“Right out front, the presidential election in the fall,” Stevens continued. ”That’s really important. The trade association is non-partisan, so we don’t get involved in one side of the aisle or another.

“But we get our people and employees to the polls in the next election coming up, believing the Indian country really has to be strong.”

ICE Vox takes place 5-8 February.

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