Chief of gaming lobby to step aside, putting $1.9 million job up for grabs

The president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA) will leave the trade association this year, putting a lucrative position up for grabs on K Street.

Frank Fahrenkopf, who has run the gambling industry group since its creation in 1995, will step down on June 30.

“I have enjoyed my time at the helm of this incredible organization and am proud to have represented an industry that provides tens of millions of men and women with the best entertainment value in the world,” Fahrenkopf said in a statement. “It has been a true honor to work with so many passionate and innovative leaders as we have moved the industry forward during the past 17 ½ years.”

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The AGA said it has hired an executive search firm to find a replacement for Fahrenkopf, who will be retained as a consultant until the end of 2013 to assist with the transition.

Competition for the prestigious AGA job is likely to be intense. Fahrenkopf earned more than $1.9 million in compensation in 2010, according to the AGA’s tax form for that year, making it one of the highest-paying lobby jobs in Washington.

Fahrenkopf helped establish casinos as a lobbying force in Washington. The AGA spent more than $1.9 million on lobbying in the first three quarters of 2012, according to lobbying disclosure records. 

“Frank Fahrenkopf has led the AGA with unique understanding of both federal politics and the gaming industry,” said Gary Loveman, chairman, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corp., in a statement. “He has established our association as the voice of a dynamic and controversial industry, and done so with integrity, grace and consistent focus.” 

Fahrenkopf’s departure comes after gaming interests saw one of their key priorities fail to move in the last Congress. Casinos were lobbying for the legalization of online poker, a cause that was championed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Fahrenkopf was the chairman of the Republican National Committee during much of President Reagan’s two terms in office. He is also co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which oversees the debates between presidential and vice presidential candidates.