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AGA Responds to Time Magazine Article

19 December 2002

WASHINGTON, DC – (Press Release) --While the American Gaming Association (AGA) does not take a position on Indian gaming, we do take issue with any attempts by the media to distort the facts about legal gaming in America. The recent TIME Magazine articles on Indian gaming are just the latest examples of how innuendo has taken the place of factual reporting when it involves the gaming industry.

All our members know, based on their own experiences running commercial casinos or as partners with tribes across the country, that proximity to population centers, airports and major highways is an important factor in the success of any casino. True, some Indian casinos in remote areas have struggled. But we should not minimize the fact that hundreds of others, both big and small, have benefited from the jobs and funds that have helped to build schools, houses and make infrastructure improvements — all part of an effort to achieve self-sufficiency. Like any other business, however, there are going to be strong competitors and weak competitors.

In the last decade, Indian and non-Indian gaming has created hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs across the country without any tax breaks, subsidies or other government largess. The casino industry trains the unemployed and puts them to work. The casino industry empowers individuals and their families. In short, the industry creates significant numbers of career-path jobs that promote stable families and reduce reliance on public assistance.

The contributions made by casino gaming were recognized by a federal commission appointed to study this issue. After a two-year examination, the National Gambling Impact Study Commission recommended in its 1999 final report that governments "should recognize that, especially in economically depressed communities, casino gambling has demonstrated the ability to generate economic development through the creation of quality jobs." Nowhere is this clearer than in Indian country and in the former industrial towns of the Rust Belt where our companies developed casinos during the 1990s.

The AGA may not agree with the tribes on every issue, but we do agree that TIME Magazine's article did not accurately reflect the full scope of benefits casino gaming has brought to so many of our communities.

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