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American Gaming Association opposes eliminating Brand USA

The

AGA
US gaming industry has joined the broader US travel industry in opposing a provision in President Trump’s 2018 fiscal year budget to eliminate funding for Brand USA.

Brand USA, a national destination marketing organisation in created 2010, is currently funded by fees paid by inbound visitors from visa waiver countries. However, the Trump Budget is proposing to transfer these fees to Customs and Border Patrol.

In a letter to key Senate and House committees, over 300 travel-related businesses and associations put pen to paper in order to defend Brand USA. The American Gaming Association (AGA) was among the organisations that signed the letter.

“We need to have a system that is both inviting and welcoming for bringing travellers,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association in a recent interview. “If we’re not going to ask them for their business, they’re not going to come. That’s where Brand USA comes in.”

The letter to the Senate read: “According to Oxford Economics, over the last four years Brand USA has attracted 4.3 million incremental visitors; $13.6 billion in related spending; and $29.5 billion in total economic impact, including nearly $3.9 billion in federal, state and local taxes.

“As Congress deliberates on next year’s federal budget, we urge you to examine closely the uniformly positive impact of Brand USA’s work that adds so much value to America’s economy without cost to America’s taxpayers. With so much at stake, never has the crucial work of Brand USA been more important in our communities.”

The broader US travel industry supports 15 million Americans whose jobs depend on the travel sector – including 1.7 million jobs supported by the casino gaming industry.
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