American Gaming Association picks Bill Miller as new CEO

The US casino QQPoker industry’s top lobby group has – surprise – named a top lobbyist as its new boss.

On Tuesday, the American Gaming Association (AGA) named Bill Miller as its new president and chief executive officer effective January 14, 2019. Miller will replace interim CEO Stacy Papadopoulos, who stepped into the void this July to fill the seat left vacant by the departing Geoff Freeman, who left the fold the previous month.

Miller has spent the past two decades hobnobbing on Capitol Hill and is currently senior VP for government relations at the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs of major US corporations that advocate on behalf of business-friendly policies. Prior to that, Miller was also a senior VP at the US Chamber of Commerce and chief of staff for a Republican congressional rep from Maryland.

Miller assumes the AGA’s reins at a pivotal moment for US casino operators, who have been falling all over themselves this year to adapt to the US Supreme Court’s May ruling that struck down the federal betting prohibition.

Miller noted Tuesday that this was “a remarkable time for gaming in America,” and credited the AGA with helping to achieve growing “acceptance of gaming as mainstream entertainment.”

Miller was named the AGA’s likely lad on the recommendation of a seven-member search committee led by AGA board chairman Timothy J. Wilmott, CEO of casino operator Penn National Gaming. Wilmott said Miller’s “extensive work with federal policymakers” was “critical” to the committee’s recommendation.

Miller is only the third permanent leader the AGA has had following its formation in 1995. Original CEO Frank Fahrenkopf enjoyed the longest tenure, having announced his exit in January 2013 before Freeman took over that April.




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Macau bans casino employees from premises outside work hours

Casino personnel in Macau are no longer allowed Poker88 to enter or remain in gambling facilities during off hours, various news outlets reported.

Macau bans casino employees from premises outside work hoursThe Macau Legislative Assembly, in amending Law No. 10/2012 on workers entering and exiting casinos, will keep employees who handle betting machines, cashiers, those selling food and beverages, and security guards, among others, from setting foot in casino premises when not on duty.

The practicality of enforcing such a ban has been questioned, but officials look to implement it through random checks.

According to Inside Asian Gaming, Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) Director Paulo Martins Chan has said that the agency was hiring more people specifically for the task of inspecting casinos. He has also said that casino operators themselves are to assist in monitoring, and that third parties will report violations as well.

Earlier proposals included having a DICJ officer using security cameras and other devices, such as for facial recognition.

Employees will only be allowed inside casinos on working days, the first three days of the Lunar New Year, and other occasions where their entry will be specially authorized, such as for training.

Among the amendments to the existing law was a further simplification of restrictions on people below 21 entering casinos.

With a significant amount of time needed to prepare for such changes, the new regulations will take effect late in 2019 or early in 2020 yet.

Critics of the legislation have said that not only was enforcement going to be tricky, but that the ban was discriminatory toward concessionaires.

According to Macau News Agency, Assembly member José Pereira Coutinho said it was uncertain how the legislation would affect VIP rooms, which he said were regulated differently from gaming promoters. There may also be confusion with how to handle satellite casinos whose operators may be under a different legal status.

The measure is meant to address problem gambling among casino workers in the Special Administrative Region, who are said to constitute 30% of those who ask the government for help to stop gambling.

Under the new regulations, those caught violating the ban will be fined between MOP1,000-MOP10,000 ($124-$1,240).