In a message to American Gaming Association members, president Tim Wilmott has paid tribute to outgoing CEO Geoff Freeman who has accepted the position of president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the leading representative of the $2.1 trillion food industry.

Confirming the development, Wilmott said: “Geoff will remain with the AGA until the end of July while we launch the succession process. Over the coming days and weeks, I will work with Geoff and my colleagues on the Executive Committee to build a transition plan, launch a CEO search process and solicit a wide variety of opinions as to the type of leader that is the best fit for the AGA of today. The formation of this committee does not preclude the possibility of an internal candidate.”

The president went on to track some of the association’s key achievements under Freeman, adding: “The AGA accomplished many important successes during Geoff’s tenure, most notably the recent Supreme Court ruling declaring the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional, a decision that paves the way for legalised sports betting in the US. Geoff and his team were also instrumental in preventing an IRS effort to decrease the slot tax threshold, protecting resort fees from a federal government effort to eliminate them in their entirety and building a strong relationship with FinCEN such that the gaming industry is now a model for anti-money laundering compliance.

“It is a testament to our industry, as well as to Geoff himself, that GMA would look to gaming as a model for managing through dynamic change and complexity to achieve success in both policy and perceptions. Geoff is leaving us with a strong board, a talented team and a more inclusive, strategic, financially sound and forward-looking trade association. Like many of you, I have enjoyed working with Geoff over the last five years and am grateful for his contributions to gaming’s long-term growth and prosperity. I look forward to providing you with more information as we continue forward in the succession process and identify the next Chief Executive of the AGA.”