AGA Still Chasing Federal Legislation


Posted: September 25, 2013

Updated: October 4, 2017

Federal Legislation Still Seen as Key for Poker Growth by American Gaming Association

The American Gaming Association (AGA) is far from content with the recent changes in US gambling law, instead still pushing for federal, instead of state-wide, legislation. The head of the AGA, Geoff Freeman, has been pushing the stance at the recent Global Gaming Expo (G2E).

The relatively new legislation restricts online casinos in the US to the individual states where they are licensed, although the first casino isn’t live yet. New Jersey believes it will be the first with a real money casino, as it has promised at least one will be live by November 23rd – although Delaware already has a free play Facebook casino, and Nevada online poker sites.

The push from the AGA is despite the overwhelming thinking that such a move is now moot, considering the passing of state legislation on the matter, with Freeman acknowledging that “the environment for getting a bill done is not there.”

Freeman continued: “We want to be regulated. However, there are places that it crosses the line and really affects innovation and makes us less competitive. Each new state that [authorizes casino gambling] feels like they have to turn the screws a little bit tighter than the one before.”

The AGA has also developed an advertisement highlighting the dangers of playing poker outside of an American poker room. They originally wanted to piggyback on new film – starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck – Runner, Runner: a story about a poor college student who run into trouble with an offshore poker room.

The film, however, declined to show the advert, although the AGA still plans to push along with their plans on other channels. With online poker revenue in the US down to less than 14% of its 2006 peak – before the UIGEA gambling legislation – the AGA does have a point, considering how popular the card game remains in the country.

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