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Casino Lobby Bolsters Staff For 2014 Fight

American Gaming Association To Continue Online Poker Push

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The commercial casino industry’s top lobbying group on Capitol Hill has bolstered its staff in anticipation of a long 2014 fight to increase the presence of gambling in America. The American Gaming Association wants online poker legalized nationwide.

The AGA announced Monday five staff additions. The group said that the “new staff members are part of a reorganization placing an emphasis on proactive, campaign-style trade association advocacy.”

The AGA is based out of Washington.

“These extremely talented new members of our team will help us build off the success the AGA has enjoyed and pivot to our next generation organization,” AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman said in a statement.

“Through groundbreaking research, aggressive outreach and on-the-ground activities, this group of experts, coupled with our existing team, will position the AGA to champion gaming’s value as a driver of innovation and economic growth. I am extremely excited about our burgeoning team—those who have been with the AGA and the critical additions we announce today.”

The AGA added that the new staff members “bring diverse backgrounds, including a combination of industry expertise, public-sector acumen and association experience.”

For a full look at the individual names and backgrounds, click here.

Freeman participated in a federal hearing last month on the topic of online gambling (mostly poker, though). The meeting also discussed Rep. Joe Barton’s web poker bill.

While the AGA campaigns for a federal online poker bill, some in the industry have admitted that such a bill is drawing dead. Online gambling will spread across the U.S. in the form of a state-by-state patchwork. Online poker was widely available in the U.S. prior to Black Friday in April 2011. These days, some Americans can still access smaller offshore sites, but the AGA and its members (casino firms) want to put an end to that.