Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, has lauded the continued expansion of gaming across the US, as well as touching upon an “urgent need” to address the national economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week saw voters in Colorado, Nebraska, and Virginia expanded casino gaming, while Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota all approved ballot initiatives legalising sports betting.

“With their affirmative votes, Americans welcomed gaming’s world-class entertainment to their communities along with our new jobs and vital state and local tax revenue,” Miller commented. 

“Some form of legal gaming is currently authorized in 44 states, and 45 per cent of American adults live in states that provide the safeguards of a legal, regulated sports betting market.”

Alongside these aforementioned developments, referendums held in four Virginia cities also saw voters green-light the development of four casino resort properties.

First off Bristol approved a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Norfolk is to gain a $500m Pamunkey Indian Tribe developed resort, Caesars Entertainment has promised to fulfil “the trust the voters have placed in us” with its $400m Danville-based casino, and “a great day for Portsmouth” was praised as Rush Street Gaming’s $300m project got the nod.

Miller has assured that the AGA will work with “gaming champions” to ensure policymakers understand the industry’s commitment to responsibility and the positive economic impact to potentially be felt in communities across the country. 

“There remains an urgent need, in the near term, to address the national economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. 

“The AGA is focused on ensuring leaders in the current Congress and the Trump administration provide critical relief for gaming that aids employee retention and rehiring, provides liability protections for responsible operators, supports tribal nations, and jumpstarts the travel and tourism industry.

“From the Cares Act to sharing innovations in health and safety, our unity as an industry this year has been pivotal to our advocacy efforts and responsible reopening. 

“The AGA will continue to bring our industry together to speak with one voice and a common purpose as we navigate gaming’s recovery. A recovery that is not only crucial to our industry’s future, but also for the people and communities where we operate, which is why we won’t let up.”