The American Gaming Association (AGA) is welcoming six new members to its roster, including three big name operators who are relatively new to the US market. The new board-level member organizations are, MM Testlabs, Choctaw Casinos and Resorts, Golden Entertainment, GVC Holdings PLC, Paddy Power Betfair and The Stars Group (parent company of PokerStars). These new members come from an array of gaming industry interests and suggest that the US gambling market is in for some big changes in the years ahead.
Of particular note is the addition of GVC Holdings and Paddy Power Betfair, two operators based in the UK. This suggests that gambling companies from across the pond are positioning themselves to grab a share of the American market, should the US Supreme Court rule in favor of regulated sports betting later this spring.
Longtime gaming industry watchers will surely note how much the industry has changed over the past few years as indicated by the fact that PokerStars, by way of its ownership by the Stars Group, is now represented by the AGA. Just five years ago, the AGA worked hard to keep PokerStars out of the New Jersey online gambling market because of its connections to the Black Friday scandal. Now that it’s owned by the Stars Group, things have apparently changed.
It’s also worth noting that the AGA also entered a strategic alliance with BMM Testlabs. Under the arrangement, BMM will provide support to the AGA on strategic matters, especially as they relate to sports betting.
In a press release, Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of AGA described the new class of members as follows, “More than ever before, AGA’s diverse membership reflects the broad interests of the casino gaming industr. Adding these six industry leaders will help our ability to serve as an effective advocate for the industry as a whole, and we’re excited to add their expertise to our Board.”