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BILL MILLER INTERVIEW


Miller settles in quickly to AGA role


After living his entire life along the Potomac River that borders Washington, D.C., new American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Bill Miller understands federal government power. His first day last January presented significant challenges, despite his vast work experience in various high-level positions.


By Sharon Harris M 42 JULY 2019


iller was among 130 candidates – many already working within gaming – considered for the position and his recruitment was fairly rapid. The process began in early June 2018 and by the first week of December, his


contract was signed. Miller views gaming as so mainstream now that it was not crucial for the AGA to limit its potential CEO choice to only those from within the industry. Once the AGA announced Miller’s appointment, he


assumed the CEO/President role on January 14th 2019. On the same day Miller entered office, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a 23-page opinion that reversed a 2011 Obama Administration opinion. That specific language regarding the 1961 Federal Wire


Act applied only to sports betting, which was already illegal at the time. The industry reeled from this opinion as the repercussions from the DOJ’s new release could jeopardise the online gaming marketplace. Since 2011, only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have


operated online gaming programs. They hold interstate online gaming agreements that permit competitive online poker across their borders. In Nevada, Caesars Entertainment has the online gaming exclusive, but is limited to poker. While legal in Pennsylvania, the rollout has been slow. New Jersey’s online gaming is the most active and has


significantly helped Atlantic City gaming’s bottom line. Since launching in 2013, Atlantic City’s online gaming has generated more than $1 billion. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reported a 21.6 per cent increase in online gaming revenues from 2017 to its 2018 total of $298.7 million. Miller could not push aside such a vital issue as he set out


to learn the dynamics of worldwide gaming. He embarked on a domestic and international gaming familiarisation tour. He explains, “I am honored to have this position, especially since I follow men like Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. and Geoff Freeman. I am only the third to hold this job since the mid-1990s. Every day I come to work with the absolute intention to learn something new. I decided early on to go out and meet the people instead of sitting in the office. I already had an interest in some special industries and gaming was one of them.”


In his prior role as Senior Vice President of the Business


Round Table (BRT) in Washington D.C., Miller managed the activities of 204 top international CEOs who visited four times a year. He received a call to interview after the May 2018 Supreme


Court PASPA ruling and already knew some of the federal and state issues. Miller was acquainted with some executives like Jim Murren of MGM and Gary Loveman, formerly of Caesars,


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