A rare glimpse inside the AGA: The group's strategic plan and budget

I have already told you about this memo about the American Gaming Association's new approach: More offense, an anti-web gaming push.

There were two attachments to that memo, which I have now obtained and have posted here -- the AGA's annual budget and its strategic plan.


►The group's 2014 budget is $2.2 million higher than 2013, coming in at $11.1 million. Most of that ($8.9 million) comes from revene garnered at the G2E gaming conference. (Wow.)

►You can see large boosts in "strategic communications" and "ally development" but a drop from 2013 in "government relations." There's also a new line item for "strategic initiatives," which is a quarter of a million dollars (web gaming?).

►Strategic plans always seem touchy feely to me, and this one has some of that:

Guiding Principles:

1. Advocate for a pro-gaming agenda to drive industry growth

2. Lead the industry on issues that benefit the majority

3. Create clear and sustainable value for executives across diverse aspects of the gaming industry

4. Invest in tactics that achieve the highest ROI to achieve our goals 5. Achieve for the industry what individual members alone cannot

►And check out this part:

Engage in Targeted Champion Development. Acknowledge that congressional shifts in the next 2-8 years leave the industry vulnerable and plan now to build Hill support.

a. Build a slate of congressional supporters who adequately represent the 39 states in which casino gaming exists and who are ready to defend and support the industry.

b. Drive earned media about the value of gaming in these communities c. Hold on-the-ground events to tout the value of the industry d. Develop communications that constantly remind gaming communities of its value e. Launch a PAC to support gaming-friendly legislative outcomes

Build the Case for a Modernized Regulatory and Licensing System. Drive the industry to a more unified and streamlined regulatory system at the state level; identify incentives for regulators to cooperate and streamline regulations

a. Through economic analysis, demonstrate the cost of a cumbersome and duplicative regulatory model, including the opportunity cost to communities and the economy.

b. Develop tools that empower the industry to make a consistent case for a more modernized regulatory and licensing system and incent regulators to support it, including fact sheets and messaging, comparisons to other industries, “top ten” list of most egregious regulatory requirements, etc.

c. Lay out the vision for a modernized regulatory system in the United States, wherever and on whatever platform gaming operates, and develop a campaign in support.

“Squash the Bugs”. Leverage strong communication initiatives to promote licensed and regulated gaming in the U.S. and move aggressively to block the progress of those who pursue illegal or unregulated activities.

a. Identify a test case, like California, to make a big impact with earned media; raise awareness of and discredit unlawful parties.

b. Engage champions in the state legislature to stand with the AGA and take action against those who don’t play by the rules.

This is not your Fahrenkopf's AGA.

Both docs are worth a read and have a lot of information. It's clear the new chief, Geoff Freeman, wants to take the organization in a new direction that will not thrill all members (welcome to that club!). It's also clear that he will not kowtow to the most vocal member (Sheldon Adelson) but can he please the others with this approach?

We'll know by the end of 2014, I'd guess.