PA Congressman Reschenthaler Revives Congressional Gaming Caucus

Posted on January 21, 2020 - Last Updated on January 22, 2020

Pennsylvania Congressman Guy Reschenthaler is helping to relaunch the Congressional Gaming Caucus.

A press release announced Reschenthaler and Rep. Bennie Thompson (Mississippi) will co-chair the caucus starting with the current session of Congress. The caucus of over 30 members plans to discuss federal policy issues related to the country’s casino industry.

Rep. Reschenthaler (R – Jefferson Hills) commented to PlayPennsylvania on why he is co-chairing the revived caucus:

“Over the last several decades, the U.S. gaming industry has expanded beyond traditional gaming markets to benefit new communities, including those in southwestern Pennsylvania. I’ve witnessed firsthand how the gaming industry helps create jobs and drives economic growth in our communities.

The industry fosters strong ties with local businesses, as well as charities, foundations, and first responder organizations like local police and fire departments. As co-chair of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, I look forward to working with the industry and other stakeholders to build on the progress we have already seen in southwestern Pennsylvania and throughout the nation.”

Gaming’s growth big reason behind caucus

Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said the relaunch of the Congressional Gaming Caucus topped the trade group’s to-do list. In 2010, the casino industry accounted for $125 billion in spending and 820,000 jobs. Today, largely due to the expansion of gaming laws, those numbers skyrocketed to $261 billion and 1.8 million jobs.

Said Miller:

“As gaming expands, it’s more important than ever that members of Congress from both gaming and non-gaming states appreciate the important role our industry plays in communities across the country. The AGA looks forward to working with the caucus on policies that strengthen the gaming industry and tel our positive story on Capital Hill.”

Why a Congressional Gaming Caucus?

What happened to the caucus that it needed to be relaunched?

Elise Argall, Reschenthaler’s communication director, said the gaming caucus never formally disbanded, but, for a variety of reasons including member turnover and retirements, was not officially active in the last Congress.

Some key areas of the gaming industry the Congressional Gaming Caucus will address include:

  • Anti-money laundering compliance
  • Responsible gaming
  • State regulation of gaming, including sports betting

Rep. Thompson cited a statistic that 88% of adults view gambling as an acceptable form of entertainment. He believes the caucus will enable Congress to “better represent the industry and our constituents’ interest on Capitol Hill.”

Casinos and economic growth in southwestern PA

Reschenthaler served in the US Navy during the Iraq War. Before joining Congress he was a member of the PA Senate. He began his current term in the US House on Jan. 3, 2019.

Reschenthaler represents the 14th district which includes Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin and The Meadows Racetrack and Casino. Rivers Casino is in Pittsburgh but not in his region.

Rep. Reschenthaler commented:

“Over the last several decades, the US gaming industry has expanded beyond traditional gaming markets in Nevada and New Jersey to benefit new communities, including those in southwestern PA. I’m proud to relaunch this caucus, which will provide a valuable forum for advancing policies that allow the gaming industry to grow and spur economic development in districts like mine.”

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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