Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, has voiced that the group is solely focused on industry recovery as he delivered remarks on the future of gaming, policy developments and priorities for 2021 in Washington DC.

He cited vaccine distribution, responsible reopening, and consumer confidence as reasons for optimism in the coming year, following a period which has seen 989 casino close in the country, 650,000 gaming employees idle, $105bn lost in economic activity, 564 communities be impacted and a 32 per cent decline in year-on-year revenue to November 2020.

AGA research shows one-in-three American adults plan to visit a casino in 2021, the highest rate since the AGA began tracking such data in March of last year. Eighty percent of future casino visitors agree the industry has done a good job at safely reopening.

“There’s huge pent-up demand for gaming—and I’m upbeat about the second half of the year in particular,” he says. “As vaccines roll out, people will be excited to travel, hungry for entertainment, and desperate to get out and have fun again. That’s an environment where gaming will thrive.”

Miller emphasised that the AGA’s singular agenda in 2021 is accelerating the gaming industry’s recovery, highlighting four areas of focus, which includes securing additional COVID-19 economic relief for the industry through temporary liability protections, investment in travel and tourism, supportive tax policy, and additional tribal relief.

Furthermore, developing gaming champions on Capitol Hill and in the Biden administration was also touched upon, as was the need to block harmful policies and advance specific reforms to enhance industry competitiveness.

Furthermore, Miller stressed the importance of using proprietary research and strategic communication efforts to ensure the gaming industry is heard.

“We come into 2021 with a strong foundation, a clear focus, record levels of support among Americans, and a loyal customer base that wants the excitement only gaming can deliver,” concluded Miller.