The American Gaming Association (AGA) has used its latest Get to Know Gaming event in Pennsylvania this week to press home the positive impact that is being made by the state’s casino gaming industry. Delegates at the Washington gathering learned that the industry supports more than 33,000 jobs statewide and makes a total economic contribution of $6.3bn.

AGA’s Get to Know Gaming campaign engages local leaders in a discussion about the critical role gaming plays as a community partner across the country. Wednesday’s round table panel at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino included US Republican Guy Reschenthaler; Penn National Gaming President and CEO Timothy Wilmott; North Strabane Township Fire Department Chief Mark Grimm; local small business owner Melissa Mega of The Ivy Green; and AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. Washington County Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Kotula moderated the discussion.

The event also marked the release of the AGA’s latest report, Casinos & Communities – Pennsylvania which offers an in-depth look at the gaming industry’s economic and social contributions to communities across the state. The research couples key data on gaming’s economic impact – 33,171 jobs supported and $1.8bn in wages generated – with input from stakeholders including local business owners, industry employees and elected officials about gaming’s positive impact in their communities.

“Over the last 15 years, gaming companies across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have served as an anchor for state and local economies, generating billions of dollars in tax revenue and operating as good stewards and community partners in the places casinos call home,” said Miller. “Today, we’re pleased to highlight the success of gaming in western Pennsylvania, discussing the career opportunities that have been enabled, the small businesses that have been supported and the communities that have been positively impacted.”

“We are very fortunate here in Pennsylvania to have outstanding, community-minded industry partners,” added Reschenthaler. “Across our state, gaming companies are investing in the growth of our communities and supporting good jobs. It’s a critical partnership as we strengthen our economy and continue to expand job opportunities for Pennsylvanians.”