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STATESIDE


some form nationwide, nothing matches the Nevada story. Legalizing casinos transformed southern Nevada from a desert wasteland to a destination. Reno, known as America’s divorce capital, plus Carson City and the rest of northern Nevada near Lake Tahoe, were little more than sparsely- populated mountain towns. The state had a plan in those 1930s Depression years, though decades would pass to develop a corruption-free industry. Likewise, without gaming’s debut in 1978, Atlantic City


would have remained on life support or economically “slid” into the Atlantic Ocean. Sadly, Atlantic City has repeatedly confronted negligent and/or dishonest city government and management. However, life at the Shore still remains pretty desirable. In only a few short years, online gaming and sports betting are exploding here. While casino openings enjoy the headlines, the often


overlooked, but vibrant supplier segment, receives little recognition. What about the contributions of the men and women working for these companies? I recently received the Association of Gaming Equipment


Manufacturers’ (AGEM) new “Impact Analysis: Global Gaming Supplier Industry” report. It reveals that these suppliers have a $55.8 billion economic effect on gaming. AGEM’s 175 member companies – from 23 countries –


reflect the world’s largest slot machine companies. Memberships also represent lotteries, systems, table games, online/interactive, sports betting, mobile apps, game development, machine components and support products and services. Suppliers provide the creative behind-the-scenes “oomph”


that keeps gaming humming along. Without their research and development, customer interest would have faded long ago. In Nevada, many anchor their neighborhoods. Between


2014 and 2017, Nevada supplier employment stalled in the mid 70,000s. That number rose to almost 95,000 in 2018. Total revenue output increased by $10 billion in 2018,


10 MAY 2019


reaching $31.5 billion. Wages and salaries jumped from $5 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2018, proving that supplier companies are themselves economic engines. Who, besides the political naysayers and agenda-driven media who often minimize achievements, can objectively deny the improvement in economic conditions in almost every American industry? People should recognize these numbers as tangible “kitchen table” progress in their own lives.


I’m delighted that gaming has played such a major role in these better days.


Andrew Zimmerman/Adobe Stock


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