The coronavirus is spreading fast, and many casinos have been forced to shut down their operations to help with the containment of the virus. Although every operator agrees that it is the best thing to do, as health comes first, they seek a federal bailout due to the upcoming crisis caused by the virus.
The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, all announced that the three states are going under a collective shutdown. In other words, all casinos, pubs, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and more ceased their operations starting Monday.
There are two casinos in Connecticut right now, and they will stay closed for at least two weeks. However, the center of gaming is in New Jersey, whose governor decided that the casinos will stay shut until it is “safe for their reopening.”
This will be the fifth time the casinos in New Jersey had to shut down. Three times out of five, it was due to bad weather conditions.
Apart from these three states, similar orders were executed in many other states, including Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Mississippi, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Delaware.
All casino operators in Nevada are, for now, left to decide on an individual basis whether they want to close or not. However, MGM and Wynn have already decided to close the doors to visitors.
Dire Effect on the Communities in 43 States
CEO of the American Gaming Association, Bill Miller, stated that the casino business in the US had already suffered a lot. It went from a
“growing, thriving segment of the US economy” to basically what he referred to as “standstill.”
According to Miller, this would have a “dire effect” on the communities that are connected to casinos across 43 states.
That’s why Miller asked all the “elected leaders” to take into account all those workers and businesses that were closely related to casinos, and that suffered a huge blow with casinos closing down.
The statement that came from AGA is a very serious plea, and not just an opportunity to ask for cash. Some of the biggest casino operators in the US, including Wynn Resorts, Penn National Gaming, and Caesars Entertainment, have already started to draw down their credit reserves to make sure that there’s still light at the end of the tunnel, despite the doors being locked.
Right now, we all need to wait and see whether the federal government will take AGA’s request into account and allow a federal bailout. However, it’s also important to take into account that the government is probably getting various similar requests from many other industries and individual businesses, so that might be a bit difficult to process quickly right now.
On the bright side, President Trump has been closely associated with the casino industry for a long time, so the casinos are hoping that he could help them with their request.