I am hard-pressed to think of a more challenging time then we’ve all seen in the first week of June 2020. Already devastated by the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19, Americans are hurting as we mourn and speak out against the senseless killing of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis police.
Not far from my home, outside the steps of the American Gaming Association office, the streets of Washington, like so many across the country, have filled nightly as thousands peacefully protested in the name of injustice. The destruction that followed left the community vandalized and all of us shaken.
Our society is based on a foundational principle that we are all created equal. Yet, for far too many, and for far too long, that ideal has not been a reality. This must change. We all have a responsibility to listen, exercise greater compassion, and stand up for what’s right.
In my relatively brief tenure in the gaming industry, I’ve come to appreciate, admire and value the close-knit nature of our business. There’s no clearer example than the relationships we’ve built with communities all across the country. Our industry’s presence often begins in underserved communities in need of a willing partner to kickstart their resurgence. From Boston to Tunica, Miss., communities across Oklahoma to Southwestern Ohio, and Detroit to Northern Nevada, we’ve contributed to the rebirth of communities, hired local, diverse workforces that reflect these communities, and thrived as a result.
In recent years, gaming has felt the sting of natural disasters and human tragedy, rebuilding each time with the fundamental belief that we are better and stronger together. Now, as economies begin to reopen, we have an opportunity and an obligation as a community engine to be the example of inclusion and collaboration once again.
I am eager to see and feel the heartbeat of American gaming, Las Vegas, shine again when Nevada casinos reopen their doors. This can be a pivotal moment in our recovery. We must ensure that our industry’s strong history of diversity and inclusion is met with stronger resolve for an even more diverse and inclusive future for communities all across this country.
Despite these trying times, I remain hopeful for our future, and confident that for our industry and our nation, brighter days are ahead.
All the best,
President & CEO
American Gaming Association