By Howard Stutz
U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., and a House Democrat from Mississippi are trying to form a bipartisan Congressional Gaming Caucus to focus on gaming issues and policy.
Heck and Rep. Bennie Thompson sent a letter to members of Congress earlier this month seeking caucus members. They hope the group includes representatives whose districts have casinos or are considering gaming expansion, Heck said.
He said Nevada's reliance on the economic viability of gaming was a primary reason for the caucus.
"I look forward to working with caucus members to advance responsible federal policies that will allow the gaming industry to continue to thrive," Heck said.
According the Washington D.C.-based American Gaming Association, 22 states had casinos that produced $35.64 billion in gaming revenues in 2011. The organization's annual state-by-state study, to be released next month, will cover 2012. In the past year, casinos opened in Ohio and Maryland, while Massachusetts began the process to license three operators.