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Seminole Tribe joins American Gaming Association

HOLLYWOOD — With unanimous Tribal Council approval Jan. 16, the Seminoles became the first Native American Tribe to join the American Gaming Association (AGA).

Membership to AGA – a national trade organization and lobbying group – includes a seat on the Board of Directors, said John Eder, senior vice president of finance for Seminole Gaming, at the Council meeting.

“As part of this, we will have a voice in determining what’s the best road or path that we can take for gaming – not just Seminole Gaming but gaming in general – that will allow us to do business and be the most beneficial for us,” he said.

Networking, updates on federal legislative and regulatory issues, and opportunities to protect industry-wide legislative issues in Washington are additional perks.

Eder cited Seminole Gaming’s reputation, financial performance, and operational and technological leadership in the industry for the Tribe’s invitation to join AGA.

“It’s a big honor,” he said.

The Tribe joins five new board members and three new general members recently announced by the association.

According to its website, AGA seeks to unify the gaming industry through a policy of inclusivity and transparency. The new organizational structure and board member additions are the latest in a series of changes under the leadership of the AGA Board of Directors and President and CEO Geoff Freeman.

“Our goal is to elevate the AGA’s ability to advocate for the entire gaming industry – in Washington, in the media and in communities across America,” Freeman said in a news release. “In 2014, we established key building blocks in this effort, including strengthening our staff, increasing our advocacy on the value of the casino gaming industry and modernizing our membership structure.”

Members are major gaming companies and gaming manufacturers, including Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts, Eder said.

“All these companies basically bond together to allow for us to provide the solutions that we feel will provide the best financial benefit for the gaming companies,” Eder said.