Odds Long Feds Will Provide Gaming Industry Further COVID-19 Relief
Posted on: October 13, 2020, 08:44h.
Last updated on: October 13, 2020, 10:10h.
The United States government isn’t expected to provide the gaming industry with further COVID-19 financial assistance and relief until after the November election.
Politics are getting in the way of helping casinos and other businesses and industries, Chris Cylke, senior vice president of government relations at the American Gaming Association (AGA), told with the Las Vegas Sun.
There’s been an expectation for some time that there would be another package following the CARES Act, but we’ve been in a kind of stimulus purgatory,” Cylke explained. “The prevailing view is that something needs to be done, but there are fractured views across Congress.”
Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), are seeking $2.2 trillion in additional coronavirus relief. Last week, President Donald Trump offered a $1.8 trillion relief package, which came just days after the President said he was calling off negotiations until after the November 3 election.
Over the weekend, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called on Congress to pass a COVID-19 bill with leftover funds from the small business loan program.
Nevada Economy Still Struggling
While some states are reporting surprising gross gaming revenue (GGR) numbers for their casinos since reopening, Nevada and Las Vegas revenue continue to suffer.
Visitor volume to Las Vegas was down 57 percent in August, nonexistent convention attendance responsible for much of the drop. Tens of thousands of casino resort workers remain furloughed or laid off.
“Nevada continues to be one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic, with too many Nevadans still out of work, tourism-dependent businesses fighting to survive, and massive declines in state revenues,” said Nevada Resort Association President and CEO Virginia Valentine.
Las Vegas’ largest casino operators — MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Resorts — did not qualify for inclusion in the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, some smaller casino businesses did.
The larger casino operators were afforded certain tax breaks associated with the CARES Act.
More Job Losses Possible
The US Travel Association said in a release last week that without additional coronavirus relief from the federal government, 50 percent of all travel-supported jobs will be lost by December, roughly an additional 1.3 million jobs.
Hardworking Americans whose livelihoods depend on travel and tourism cannot wait until after the election for relief. The reality is that small businesses in every pocket of America are shuttering — they needed relief months ago,” said US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow.
Nevada’s unemployment rate in August was 13.2 percent. Approximately 299,300 Nevadans were employed in the “Leisure and Hospitality” segment, a 15.9 percent year-over-year drop.
The national unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in August and dropped to 7.9 percent in September. Nevada’s unemployment numbers for September have not yet been released.
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