When the casinos first shut down back in March, many predicted that things would have returned to normal by now. That’s not the case, and many casino companies around the country are still hurting right now. Officials in the industry are now calling for more US casino relief.
Calls for more relief bills have been escalating in recent months. Some fear that major casino companies are at risk of failing. Today, we’ll talk about what the country’s biggest casino companies are asking for right now.
Let’s get into it!
Major US Casino Destinations See Lower Revenue Figures
The United States is known for having one of the largest casino industries in the world. Each state around the country is able to set its own regulations towards casino gambling. Some states allow only Native American-run casinos to operate. Others allow both tribal and commercial casinos.
In March, the country’s casino industry came to a standstill. By June, casinos started reopening again. Commercial casinos needed specific permission from state government officials. Tribal casinos, however, have been able to reopen at their own pace.
It’s been more than seven months since the shutdowns and revenue remains significantly lower than it was in 2019. Of course, revenue earnings are fluctuating from state to state. The areas of the country with regulated online gambling platforms seem to be performing the best right now.
Nevada continues to see major losses. The casino-resorts in cities like Las Vegas are feeling the effects and many are taking new steps to cut down on costs. The Encore Las Vegas, for example, recently announced that it was closing for three days a week moving forward.
New Jersey’s casino revenue has been hurting, yet things seem to be better here than in many other states. The sports betting industry in NJ is the biggest in the country and continues to set new records. Unfortunately, the casinos in Atlantic City are still hurting right now.
The worst thing is no one seems to know when things will return to normal. Many casino officials are now pleading for more help from the federal government.
Gaming Officials Call for More US Casino Relief
Not long after the country’s casino industry shut down, a bill was presented to protect this industry. Some felt it wasn’t enough, though. Even with the money granted by the government, many casino companies seem at risk of failing.
This week, American Gaming Association President Bill Miller gave his annual speech at the G2E 2020 Conference. Of course, this conference was held online this year. Miller spoke about the need for more US casino relief to protect both companies and their workers.
“Gaming has never experienced a disruption like COVID-19,” Miller said. “Over two weeks in March, every casino in America was closed by government-mandated shutdowns, impacting each of the 1.8 million jobs we support. Gaming workers, their families, and the small businesses that depend on us have all been hit hard. And our states and communities are feeling it, too. In addition to COVID’s impact on businesses, jobs, and the well-being of our families, friends and colleagues, state budgets have been decimated by the pandemic.”
Miller did not comment on how much the casino industry was given during the first aid package passed earlier this year. He’s demanding the casino companies be included into any additional aid packages that are put through later this year. Miller is also asking for additional tax relief to help ensure that casinos keep their workers employed.
This goes to show how much the industry is hurting right now. We’ve already seen a huge number of layoffs from some of the biggest casino companies in the US. Hopefully, we don’t see any of the major casinos forced to permanently close their doors this year.
We’ll be sure to offer updates if any casino relief packages are approved before the end of the year.
Several More States Are Likely to Legalize Sports Betting This Year
Casinos have proven to be excellent sources of revenue for many states. Historically speaking, casinos also help to bring individual cities large amounts of money and employment. With the way the US casino industry is, many states are now turning to legalized sports betting to make up for lost revenue.
As we’ve already mentioned, sports betting revenue has been surging this year in many parts of the country. That’s particularly true in New Jersey. Many smaller states such as Rhode Island and Iowa are seeing impressive sports gambling revenue figures, as well.
It now appears that several more states will soon legalize and regulate sports betting before the end of the year. Louisiana and Maryland both have a vote to legalize this form of gambling appearing on the ballots in November.
Most expect these votes to be passed unanimously. Both of these states have casinos that have been hurting this year. Louisiana, in particular, has been hit hard from the pandemic and the many hurricanes affecting coastal casinos.
It seems likely that the vast majority of states will have regulated sports betting industries within the next few years. That’s particularly true if casino industries continue to see low revenue figures.
Do you think it’s time for more US casino relief to be presented? Let us know in the comments section below!