AGA’s CEO praises pre-departure Covid testing mandate lifting; warns “more can still be done” for industry recovery

AGA’s CEO praises pre-departure Covid testing mandate lifting; warns “more can still be done” for industry recovery

After President Joe Biden administration’s announced the pre-departure testing COVID-19 requirements for international air travelers to the United States will be lifted on June 12, American Gaming Association (AGA)’s President and CEO Bill Miller issued a statement in which the trade group “applauds the White House’s decision”. 

By welcoming back international business and leisure travelers, the American gaming industry and our nation’s hospitality sector can fully recover. This move puts the United States on equal footing with other countries and will provide a major boost to our nation’s travel and hospitality industries,” Miller wrote. 

🚨 Following industry advocacy efforts, the @WhiteHouse is lifting the pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirement for international travelers. Read our statement from @BillMillerAGA ➡️

— American Gaming Association (@AmericanGaming) June 10, 2022

The Association’s CEO further explained that AGA and its members have been vocal proponents of this move, and the association is “thankful for the Nevada delegation and other champions in Congress who continue to support gaming communities across the country.”

We are grateful to the CDC, all those in the health and science community, and the Biden administration for tackling this enormous challenge and making this a reality,” AGA’s CEO further commented in the statement. 

Miller also seized the opportunity to underscore that “more can still be done” to return tourism to pre-pandemic levels. “We ask the State Department to continue their work to speed up international visa processing time by investing in additional staff and allowing virtual interviews,” he stated.

“Eliminating the testing requirement will undoubtedly open our doors to more international visitors and we should make the process for entry as efficient and accessible as possible,” Miller reflected.

Removing the pre-departure testing requirement for international travelers opens the door for gaming and hospitality to make full recoveries. Thank you to the Nevada congressional delegation for their advocacy and to the Biden administration for making this happen.

— Bill Miller (@BillMillerAGA) June 10, 2022

Back in April, AGA released its Gaming Industry Outlook report, projecting a positive business panorama for 2022 in terms of COVID-19 recovery. The data was collected from a survey, in which 67% of the respondents considered the business situation had improved compared to six months prior. Four in ten CEOs back then expected the industry’s business climate to improve over the next two quarters.

Gaming executives are signaling confidence in our continued recovery, that is in line with record-setting consumer demand for gaming”, Miller stated at the time. “I’m optimistic that 2022 will see the return of a true sense of normalcy for gaming.”

Thus far, the US commercial gaming industry is off to a good start this year. The first quarter has seen $14.31 billion in nationwide commercial gaming revenue, a figure that sets a new Q1 record and nearly matches the all-time quarterly record set in Q4 2021. This strong start was punctuated by March’s revenue performance of $5.31 billion, which marked the highest-grossing revenue month in industry history