AGA Estimates $21.3bn in Economic Losses If Casinos Remain Closed for Eight Weeks

  • American Gaming Association says 94% of commercial casinos in the US have closed
  • Expects $21.3bn in economic losses if casinos remain closed for the next eight weeks
  • The AGA has called on the federal government to provide a financial aid package
  • Hundreds of thousands of casino workers could find themselves unemployed
businessman analyzing investment charts
The American Gaming Association has warned of a $21.3bn blow to the economy if US casinos remain closed for the next eight weeks. [Image:]

Closures affecting 96% of workforce

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has estimated that the US economy would lose out on $21.3bn in direct consumer spending if casinos remain closed for another eight weeks. 

Casey Clark, the senior vice president for strategic communications at the AGA, expressed these concerns in a public statement.

The coronavirus has forced the closure of the vast majority of casinos across the nation. These closures affect 96% of the entire casino workforce in the US, according to Clark. While some casinos voluntarily closed their doors, many were forced to shut due government mandates. 

At the time of the AGA’s statement, 94% of the country’s commercial casinos and 37% of the tribal casinos had shut their doors. All of the casinos in Nevada closed for the first time ever on Wednesday afternoon.

Doing all that can be done

The AGA is working closely with officials in the hospitality sector to try to get Congress and other lawmakers to help the sector with a financial stimulus package. This aid would help

support employees, their families, and our communities through this unprecedented crisis.”

Gambling companies are for the most part looking to continue paying their employees and extending their health insurance coverage as long as it is viable. However, many casino companies are rapidly bleeding money due to these closures, with many on the precipice of disaster.

If urgent action isn’t taken to help the casino sector, there could be massive consequences for hundreds of thousands of Americans, according to the AGA.

Other parties calling for help

The financial markets have been in turmoil since the coronavirus pandemic started spreading throughout the United States. The airline and hospitality industries have been hard hit, both of which are calling for extensive financial aid from the federal government.

The National Indian Gaming Association is looking for similar aid. In a letter to Congress, it is calling for an $18bn stimulus package, as well as relief on debt interest payments. Gambling is a massive source of revenue for tribes. They will struggle to fund health and education services without it.

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