Many Are Now Pushing the AGA to Ban Smoking Inside Casinos

Cigarettes In Ash Tray

Casinos around the United States have been working extremely hard to improve their safety measures lately. Unfortunately, many of these gambling venues have been forced to shut down due to public health concerns. Several prominent groups are now pushing the American Gaming Association to ban smoking inside casinos.

This has been a major talking point for years. Today, we’ll talk about what could lead to this massive change being implemented.

Let’s get into it!

More States Are Expected to Shut Down Casinos This Month

For more than a month, the United States has been experiencing a massive spike in Covid-19 cases. It’s something that health experts have been warning about for years. As the colder months approach, more people are gathering indoors and infection rates begin to increase.

Each state is taking its own approach to deal with this situation. Many analysts have been keeping a close eye on what is happening in Nevada. The world’s biggest gambling hub has ordered casinos to ramp up safety measures, yet Governor Sisolak is doing everything he can to avoid a complete shutdown of the state’s casinos.

Some states are taking more dramatic steps. Several states including Illinois and Michigan have ordered all commercial casinos to close their doors to the public. It’s been a tough situation for the owners of these gambling venues, all of whom are losing massive amounts of revenue each week.

Unfortunately, infection rates continue to increase around the country. Some analysts now expect more states to announce casino shutdowns in the near future. There’s even a chance that this could take place in major gaming hubs such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

The land-based casino industry is facing its toughest test in history. Casino companies are now trying to come up with new safety measures to convince state leaders they can remain open. Whether or not they will be successful remains to be seen.

Several groups are calling for casinos to change their rules on smoking. Could we see a smoking ban implemented before the end of the year?

California Group Pushes to Ban Smoking Inside Casinos

Smoking has been allowed in casinos for decades. Despite the known health effects, major gaming destinations have done little to stop this trend.

It’s not hard to see why. A few casinos in hubs like Las Vegas have decided to prohibit smoking over the past couple of decades. Doing so almost immediately resulted in a major drop in their average number of players.

Perhaps 2020 is the year a widely-adopted smoking ban is finally set in place. At least, that’s what the California-based Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights have been calling for. This week, the group sent a formal letter to the American Gaming Association asking for casinos to stop accepting tax dollars unless they prohibit smoking. The group also claims that banning smoking does not result in a major drop in overall revenue.

“In states with permanent smoke-free policies, such as Maryland and Ohio, the industry is experiencing year-over-year revenue increases, despite operating at reduced capacity,” the group’s letter said. “Casinos in states that were forced to abide by a state-imposed, temporary smoke-free policy in order to reopen, such as Pennsylvania, have seen revenues remain relatively stable compared to the previous year, especially considering they have been operating at significantly reduced capacity, and the smoke-free policy has helped to keep 99 percent of gaming employees COVID-free.”

In the past, it would seem impossible to imagine this kind of measure being widely adopted. This industry is in a precarious position right now, however, and this new rule could help casinos to remain open.

We’ll continue offering updates on this situation over the next few months!

Here’s What to Expect in Las Vegas This Month

From an economic standpoint, Las Vegas has been hit harder than any other major US city. This part of the country relies heavily on its tourism and casino industry. For nearly all of 2020, these industries have been hurting.

Governor Steve Sisolak understands how devastating the state’s regulations can be. The casino shutdowns back in March resulted in a massive number of job losses and may have permanent effects on the city. Sisolak also understands that failing to implement any regulations could have just as devastating an effect.

In mid-November, the Governor announced a new set of regulations. Until further notice, bars, restaurants, and casinos will need to operate at just 25% capacity. Private gatherings must be limited to 10 people.

At the time of this article, Nevada experienced an additional 2,902 Covid-19 cases and 23 more deaths. That’s a large increase from the 2,536 cases seen yesterday. Despite the state’s efforts, more cases are being seen here on an almost daily basis.

Some now believe that another major casino shutdown is necessary. Without it, the state may continue seeing huge increases in infections. Hopefully, the federal government comes up with a plan to protect the businesses and individuals affected by any new regulations set in place here.

Do you think the AGA should ban smoking inside casinos? Could this take place in Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments section below!

More US Casino Relief is Needed to Protect the Industry

Bag of Money With Casino Chip and Roulette Wheel Background

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!

You May Not Need to Pay Taxes on Casino Jackpots

As the days go on, more casinos around the United States are beginning to open back up. The American Gaming Association is now working to change the requirements set on gamblers to pay taxes on casino jackpots. If all goes according to plan, US casinos will only report jackpot winnings above $5,000.

Picture Of The Word Tax

Many feel this is long overdue. Since 1977, any casino winnings over $1,200 have needed to be reported as taxable income. 2020 might be the year that this changes.

Let’s take a look at what the AGA has planned.

The US Casino Industry is Coming Back to Life

Prior to March, the land-based casino industry in the United States was thriving. Over the past two months, however, this industry has been struggling to stay alive. Fortunately, things may be starting to rebound.

Every single state is now beginning to lift its restrictions. Some have officially begun allowing their casinos to reopen. That includes Louisiana, where some of the biggest casino-resorts in the state will soon reopen to the public.

In some parts of the country, casinos are opening up without the blessing of state leaders. In California, for example, many Native American-run casinos have already opened their doors. These venues sit on sovereign land and do not need to abide by state regulations.

Some states are taking their time allowing casinos to open up again. Nevada is not allowing this to happen until specific safety measures are set in place. Based on what’s being said, the majority casino-resorts in Las Vegas will begin opening back up in June.

For many casino companies, reopening gaming venues is a complete necessity. Some may not last very long unless their casinos start operating again. It’s still not entirely clear how much revenue the US casino industry will manage to generate over the next few months.

Now, one of the most powerful gambling groups in the country is asking the government to make a major change.

Gamblers May No Longer Need to Pay Taxes on Casino Jackpots Below $5,000

As most casino gamblers already know, anyone with jackpot winnings above $1,200 needs to be given a W-2G tax form. These winnings are considered taxable income. For many years, the American Gaming Association has called for the Treasury Department to change this so that only winnings above $5,000 are taxed.

Officials within this group claim that, when adjusted for inflation, $1,200 back in 1977 amounts to about $5,000 today. They also believe that requiring such a small amount of money to be taxed causes unnecessary burdens on the IRS. Bill Miller, President and CEO of the AGA, spoke about this situation to the media this week.

“As the gaming industry safely reopens and seeks to return to financial health, one critical area of regulatory reform the administration should consider is modernizing the $1,200 slot jackpot reporting threshold, which has been in place since 1977,” Miller said. “The current threshold is outdated and imposes significant compliance burdens on both the Internal Revenue Service and the gaming industry.” 

This change is apparently being supported by many members of Congress. The Trump Administration, currently looking at new ways to save the Federal Government money, also seems to support this idea. It may end up helping the casino industry more than we realize.

The AGA has asked for a change to the way people pay taxes on casino jackpots for years. Now, it appears this decision will be approved. We’ll give an update on what casino companies feel about these proposed regulations over the next few weeks.

Las Vegas Casinos Prepare to Open in June

All parts of the US have been affected by the spread of the new coronavirus. From an economic standpoint, Las Vegas is one of the worst-hit areas. This city has been essentially shut down for months and hundreds of thousands of residents have been left without work.

Las Vegas relies heavily on its tourism and gambling industries. Unfortunately, both have been shut down since March. All of the casinos here are closed and tourism is at an all-time low.

Everyone recognizes that something needs to change. Nevada is set to enter into Phase 2 of reopening soon and the current plan is for casinos in the state to begin reopening in June. That includes venues such as The Venetian and The Bellagio.

Some travel experts believe now may be the perfect time to visit Las Vegas. That may be even more true if gamblers aren’t required to pay taxes on casino jackpots below $5,000. No one knows how things will turn out over the summer, yet casino companies are doing everything they can to attract more visitors to Las Vegas.

Do you think the AGA’s new plan makes sense? Are you planning to visit Las Vegas anytime soon? Let us know in the comments section below!

Here’s How Casinos Will Look After Restrictions Are Lifted

It’s been nearly two months since most casinos around the US began to close. Unfortunately, all of the country’s gambling venues remain shut down. This week, several experts began discussing how casinos will look after the current restrictions set in place are lifted.Slot Machines Inside Casino

Different states are beginning to open up. Unfortunately, it’s still unclear when land-based casinos will be able to open up again. Now is the perfect time to discuss what steps casino owners are likely to take once things begin getting back to normal.

US Casino Companies Continue to Lose Revenue

The past few weeks have been some of the hardest in the history of the US casino industry. Never before have all the country’s gambling venues been forced to shut down. To make things worse, no one can really say when these casinos will be able to open their doors again.

It’s no surprise that this is costing many companies a huge amount of money every single month. This is especially true for the ones operating large casino-resorts. Companies in Las Vegas, for example, are losing millions of dollars every day.

Even smaller casino markets are still hurting. Not long ago, a report surfaced that revealed how much money the casinos in Pennsylvania are losing. This report claims that revenue dropped from $304 million in February to just $154 million in March.

In April, the gambling revenue earned in this state was almost non-existent. All casinos remain closed here. Some fear that many of the casinos in Pennsylvania may be forced to shut down permanently.

Some parts of the country are beginning to lift their restrictions. Officials within the gambling industry are now shedding some light on how casinos will look once they open back up. Here’s what we can expect.

Experts Discuss How Casinos Will Look Once They Reopen

In early March, many different casinos around the country began shutting down. Since that time, infections have spiked in some areas and plateaued in others. Several states are now beginning to open back up.

The American Gaming Association has continued to ask when casinos will be able to open again. It’s a tough question, as casinos pose a serious risk for infection spread. Now, casino officials are talking about the steps they will take to protect their patrons.

Most agree that guests and employees will be required to wear masks. Many also feel that sanitizers will be placed around the casino floor. Jim Allen, president of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino chain, spoke about this situation to the media this week.

“It’s important to focus on safety; it truly is,” Allen said. “But I sincerely feel there are those who do not have a clue as to the economic challenge this is creating. The ripple effect of the trillions of dollars in debt we’ve just put on the United States by printing money is something that we all need to be very focused on.”

There’s certainly some validity to this. The US casino industry employs a huge number of people. Closing the country’s casinos down has taken a serious toll on the economy.

No one really knows how casinos will look once they begin opening up. Most agree that they won’t be the same for quite some time. Recently, more and more individuals have begun calling for casinos in Las Vegas to open back up.

Las Vegas Casinos Begin Preparing to Open Up

At the start of this year, things were going incredibly well in Las Vegas. Tourism was increasing fast and gambling revenue was at an all-time high. As March approached, things began to change rapidly and now the city is essentially shut down.

For a city that relies on tourism, this has been devastating. As time goes on, more officials here have begun asking for things to reopen. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has called the Governor’s regulations “total insanity” and wants to see casinos operating again.

Governor Sisolak refuses to say when Las Vegas can return to normal. That isn’t stopping casinos from making preparations, though. Several of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas are beginning to announce the measures they’ll take after reopening.

This is shedding some light on how casinos will look in Las Vegas over the next few months. The Venetian, for example, has announced that it will utilize thermal cameras to scan for individuals with fevers. EMT’s will also be present to care for those suspected of having Covid-19.

If all goes according to plan, the Venetian will start accepting guests in June. This is an unprecedented time, though, and it’s very possible that this date will be pushed back.

Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few weeks!