AGA Issues Update on US Casino Reopenings Amid COVID-19

  • The association announced that 52 casinos have so far reopened across a number of states 
  • It has launched a live tracker tool to indicate casino openings on a daily basis
  • AGA has collaborated with travel groups to provide valid guidance for the hospitality industry 
  • It also wants to ensure that gambling businesses benefit from COVID-19 government directives
Open neon sign
The AGA’s update links to a live casino reopening tracker and outlines its plans to support the gambling industry’s recovery. [Image:]

52 casinos opened so far

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has released an update on the reopening of casinos across various states following nationwide shutdowns in the wake of COVID-19.

a live tool that tracks casino openings daily

The association highlighted that 52 casinos have so far reopened in states ranging from Arizona to Washington. It also informed that Louisiana is set to reopen later today, with Nevada gambling facilities aiming to resume operations by the end of the month. The AGA also put together a live tool that tracks casino openings daily.

Looking forward, the AGA stated it will try to steer government incentives towards the gambling industry through the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act once the legislation has cleared the House of Representatives.

Protecting the industry

The AGA outlined the new health and safety principles that operators will have to adopt as they begin to reopen. It has reached out to the U.S. Travel Association and other travel groups to provide up-to-date guidance that will help the hospitality industry navigate the new normal.

help the hospitality industry navigate the new normal

The association also acknowledged that casinos are adopting individual measures for reopening their doors. It said: “We know that every casino will have a tailored approach that aligns with CDC guidance, state and local directives, and the latest public health advice. We are focused on providing research and resources to inform the industry as it develops reopening plans to share with regulators and the public.”

The AGA’s next priority

Alongside the live tracker tool, the AGA will focus on government directives. With a potential relief package currently under discussion (the HEROES Act would provide almost $1 trillion to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments), the AGA aims to ensure that any new measures announced would benefit the gambling industry.

The association said it will carry out further work on policies to aid the industry’s recovery over the short and long term.

The AGA’s statement comes as president and CEO Bill Miller announced on LinkedIn that the association is expecting the gambling industry to continue its growth despite the pandemic. 100 million American adults are estimated to be able to place a legal sports bet by the end of 2020.

A look back at PASPA

The AGA was also keen to highlight the success of the industry since the PASPA repeal bill, even in light of temporary setbacks from COVID-19. Miller highlighted that 21 states, alongside the District of Columbia, have joined Nevada in legalizing sports betting.

In the last two years, Americans have been able to legally wager nearly $22bn on sporting events. The activity has generated more than $190m in total tax revenue.

The AGA had continued to campaign on the PASPA repeal bill, citing that instead of protecting competition, the act enabled a $150bn-a-year illegal marketplace.

Miller added in his LinkedIn post that the repeal has left athletes and consumers less vulnerable. He said: “Those protections only exist when sports betting can come out of the shadows and under the watchful eyes of experienced gaming regulators—which is why the American Gaming Association remains committed to expanding these safeguards today.”