The American Amusement Machine Association was in the nation’s capital today (June 28) on a lobbying mission of its own. The team, which divided into two groups to tackle a packed schedule of 16 meetings, included President Chris Felix, Exec VP Pete Gustafson and Tina Schwartz (Business & Finance Mgr.) along with David Cohen, John Margold, Nick Sarioglou, Joe Camarota and Mike Abecassis.
Of the busy day, Chris Felix said, “Our main push was to discuss small business issues. We wanted to talk with them about tax laws, any changes that may come up in tax reform and how that would play and impact small business. We also talked with them about the need for faster depreciation in the amusement industry because our titles don’t have five- or seven-year lifespans like products might in other industries.”
About Operation Choke Point, Felix said they met with Ramona McGee, a staffer on the Judiciary Committee, and have plans to follow up with her. Another key issue discussed was H1B visas and their impact on the FEC and other amusement/entertainment locations which need to hire seasonal labor.
In all their discussions, Felix said they found receptive ears on Capitol Hill. “I would say there was certainly a willingness to listen,” he continued. “We’ve been making these trips for so long that we’re starting to see some of the same staffers. It definitely makes for an easier conversation when you walk in and they remember you from a previous visit.”
Look for more on the AAMA’s lobbying trip in the August issue of RePlay.