The American Gaming Association (AGA) family just got a little bigger — and more diverse.
This past week, the association welcomed into its fold six new organizations: BMM Testlabs, Golden Entertainment, GVC Holdings PLC, Choctaw Casinos and Resorts, Paddy Power Betfair, and The Stars Group.
Geoff Freeman, the AGA’s president and CEO, said in a press release the new group of members represents the wide-ranging interests of the organization’s membership base.
“More than ever before, AGA’s diverse membership reflects the broad interests of the casino gaming industry,” Freeman said. “Adding these six industry leaders will help our ability to serve as an effective advocate for the industry as a whole, and we’re excited to add their expertise to our Board.”
GVC a familiar name in Atlantic City
Of the six new organizations granted membership, GVC is the most familiar name among Atlantic City casino aficionados.
The company’s license to operate nj.partypoker.com was confirmed in 2017, much to the delight of GVC CEO Kenneth Alexander, who said the company was “delighted” that his company met the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement‘s strict regulations for NJ gambling sites.
Party Poker is one of 10 in the Borgata online portfolio, which represents the biggest online gambling quiver in the state.
In February 2018, Borgata’s online empire pulled in the second most revenue for the month, trailing behind powerhouse Golden Nugget. The casino’s online poker revenue was third of three casinos operating poker sites.
With the addition of GVC and The Stars Group (parent company of PokerStars), the AGA now has an array of companies and casinos in its membership that are online-centric.
AGA and the NJ sports betting case
And as the AGA’s membership continues to expand, so does the organization’s influence in the national debate about sports getting.
The group has long been a proponent of legalizing sports betting. It’s a position that is certainly in the best interest of its membership base. AGA members stand to earn a significant amount of revenue if casinos are allowed to open sportsbooks and operate online sports betting sites.
The AGA filed an amicus brief this past year pertaining to New Jersey’s appeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). An amicus brief is a legal document submitted to the court in which an entity provides their position on the matter to be adjudicated.
The NJ sports betting case went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States in December 2017. A decision regarding the fate of the Garden State’s sports betting desires and sports betting legalization as a whole is likely by June.
Why sports betting matters to AGA
In its NJ sports betting brief, the AGA set forth some of the bedrock arguments in favor of legalizing sports betting. A big reason is the massive illegal gambling economy that generates each year more than $150 billion in bets placed.
The AGA also noted that, of the $15 billion bet on the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, 97 percent of those bets were made illegally.
In addition to curbing the country’s pervasive gambling black market, legalizing sports betting will be a boon for states across the country.
The AGA estimates the sports betting industry could generate more than 150,000 new jobs and yearly revenue of more than $25 billion. The tax revenue generated by the nationwide industry could be as much as $5.3 billion, the AGA estimates.
AGA members, new and old, are no doubt very interested in those numbers.