The Board of Directors of the American Gaming Association (AGA) has named Bill Miller (pictured) as its next president and chief executive officer. Miller will lead the $261 billion gaming industry effective January 14, 2019.

According to the official press release

Miller, who previously worked as a senior vice president of Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of chief executive officers who lobby the federal government on economic, workforce and trade policy, among other things, was chosen as the D.C.-based trade organization’s new leader after a thorough search and selection process was conducted by a committee led by 59-year-old Tim Wilmott, Chief Executive Officer for Penn National Gaming Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the AGA.

Veteran lobbyist:

While at the BRT, Miller reportedly aided the organization in expanding its brand and advocacy presence in Washington.

A veteran lobbyist, Miller also previously led the Political Affairs & Federal Relations’ efforts at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and worked as national political director advising the CEO and overseeing the chamber’s legislative, advocacy and lobbying tactics.

acceptance of gaming as mainstream entertainment

In a statement, Miller said that he was “honored to join a team with a well-earned reputation for advancing the casino gaming industry’s legislative and communications priorities and addressing the issues that matter most to its members. Much to the AGA’s credit, this is a remarkable time for gaming in America. The industry is growing, acceptance of gaming as mainstream entertainment has never been higher and the opportunities to continue to advance gaming’s agenda are abundant. I am eager to help lead the industry in this next era.”

Wilmott explained that Miller’s “extensive work with federal policymakers and as a seasoned leader of membership and industry advocacy organizations was critical to our decision.

“He joins a successful organization at a time when our industry is enjoying great momentum, thanks in part to a major policy achievement – the ending of the federal sports betting prohibition. On behalf of the AGA Board, I am excited to welcome Bill to the team.

“The Board is extremely thankful for the leadership of Stacy Papadopoulos and Sara Slane, and the commitment of the entire AGA team during this period of transition,” continued Wilmott.

Papadopoulos, the agency’s general counsel and industry services senior vice president, was named by the AGA as interim CEO in July last year.

Replacement efforts:

In June, the AGA announced the formation of a seven-member search committee that would be responsible for selecting its next chief executive.  The committee’s members included: Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International; Mark Frissora, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corp.; Trevor Croker, CEO and managing director of Aristocrat Leisure Ltd.; Greg Carlin, co-founder and CEO of Rush Street Gaming; Bill Lance, Jr., secretary of commerce of Chickasaw Nation; and Ron Reese, senior vice president, global communications and corporate affairs at Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Freeman tenure:

Miller will succeed Geoff Freeman (pictured, left), who left the casino sector trade lobby group to become the new president and CEO for the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) on August 1, 2018.

Freeman had been with the Washington, D.C. trade group since May 2013 and led the lobbying effort in Washington, DC to repeal the federal ban on sports betting. The AGA also credited Freeman with blocking the federal government from eliminating resort fees, building a strong relationship with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and fighting efforts by the Internal Revenue Service to decrease the slot tax threshold.

Growing industry:

Miller is taking over the reins at the AGA at a time when states and jurisdictions across the U.S. are working to implement sports gambling after the U.S. Supreme Court’s May ruling declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) unconstitutional.

Since the landmark policy achievement, revenue increased in 20 states with commercial casinos in 2017 and $40.3 billion in gaming revenue was brought in by the commercial gaming industry as a whole, while $32.4 billion in total gaming revenue was tallied by tribal casinos, according to the AGA.