Being Damaged By COVID-19, US Gambling Industry Feels Invaluable Support Of Casino Operators

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Article by : Helen Feb 25, 2021

Just a year ago, who would have thought that COVID-19 could cause so much damage to the world’s economy? When the pandemic began, most people had viewed it as a temporary setback that was slowly but steadily turning into a dramatic story of dropping revenues, closed facilities, and higher-than-ever unemployment rates. Now, no one can be shocked by how much the world’s economy suffered from the still-ongoing pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccine’s distribution process has only started, and it will take quite a long time to feel its effects, meaning that the economy will keep struggling in the meantime.

Almost every industry felt a negative impact of the coronavirus: some felt it more, and some — less. The casino industry is no exception. It saw its land-based gambling venues being shut down for a couple of months, while some of them suspended their operations at all. The American Gaming Association (AGA) released a new report that not only reveals the amount of economic damage taken by the casino US casino industry but also shows what social responsibility practices have been implemented by the casino operators in order to help communities deal with the pandemic.

The revealed figures indicate that the number of gambling venues that stopped operating because of the pandemic is getting close to 1,000. These shutdowns led to more than 650,000 casino employees being placed on unpaid leave or laid off at all. Over 550 communities that were relying much on gambling revenue lost their major source of funds. For the US gambling market, 2020 resulted in a 30% gambling revenue drop compared to 2019. As a result, more than US$100 billion was lost in gambling activity across the United States.

While suffering from the pandemic-related restrictions, lockdowns, and capacity hesitations, many casino operators did not hesitate any second to help their communities deal with the pandemic situation. The American Gaming Association pointed out that gambling operators greatly contributed to implementing all the required precautionary measures in the country, which would speed up the recovery process. Casino operators transferred a part of their financial resources into the purchase of masks, protective gear, and other equipment needed to resist the wave of COVID-19. More than that, they made use of their logistics channels to distribute coronavirus test kits across the states without any delays. There were several cases of casinos transformed into vaccination centers.

These valuable testing resources have served to safeguard the health of community members and visitors while supporting the safe and measured reopening of our economy.

Scott Kerbs, public relations manager at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada

Considering that many casino employees were left out of a job, casino operators were doing their utmost to help them and their families withstand the hard times. Several casino operators agreed to keep paying their workers even during the lockdowns. More of them have implemented emergency relief funds, with the help of which former and current employees could receive some kind of financial assistance. Many experts believe that even if the economic situation remains fragile due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, gambling operators won’t give up supporting their communities in this uphill battle. The deputy chief of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Homeland Security Division, Andrew Walsh, pointed out: “They did everything they could to help each other with the safety and security measures that were put in place to protect people who came to town.”


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