The American Gaming Association (AGA) has united with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) to combat the spread of unregulated gaming machines throughout the US.
The new campaign sets out to provide state and local policymakers, law enforcement, and regulatory agencies with the resources and tools needed to halt their rise in numbers.
Bill Miller (pictured), president and CEO of the AGA, stated: “Stamping out the illegal market that threatens the safety of consumers will always be one of the gaming industry’s highest priorities. We are proud to work with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers and our fellow industry partners to combat the spread of illegal machines.
“The AGA is encouraged that policymakers in some states such as Virginia have begun to recognize the dangers of these machines and have taken recent legislative action toward outlawing them.
“Unfortunately, other jurisdictions where these machines have become pervasive may believe their only recourse is to regulate and tax them. Rewarding bad behavior is not the answer, and we hope our education efforts will make it clear that the only real solution is to stop the spread of these devices.”
Currently casino gaming in the US has a dedicated team of over 4,000 state and tribal regulators that oversee all forms of gaming. However, the recent rise of unregulated machines across the region has raised a host of concerns.
These include a lack of testing, consumer protections and responsible gaming measures which, in turn, has highlighted the need for states with gray market and illegal machines to make this a priority area of focus.
Marcus Prater, executive director of AGEM, added: “The regulated gaming industry has rarely been more united on a singular issue and now we have a tool to address the misinformation and deception that unregulated machine companies use to confound law enforcement, the courts, and local citizens.
“The spread of these machines represents a serious threat to the overall regulated market that has invested billions in infrastructure while also creating thousands of jobs and substantial tax benefits in the communities they serve. Moreover, unregulated machines prey on confused players who see slot machine symbols and think they’re getting a fair chance when they absolutely are not.”
Aside from their newly announced partnership, the AGA and AGEM have been joined by over 20 other organisations, including the National Indian Gaming Association and the National Council on Problem Gambling, in their fight against the spread of unregulated gaming across the US.