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Casino Industry Begins Lobbying Congress For Federal Aid

Both Commercial And Tribal Casinos Begin Pressuring Lawmakers For Cash

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As casinos continue to close around the country, many of those operators are now looking to the federal government for money.

In the last few days, casino lobbyists have spent much of their time asking Congress for a bailout package and are proposing something similar to what is being considered for other tourism-related industries hit hard by the spread of coronavirus.

According to the Washington Post, those ideas include direct cash payments, deferred taxes, or special bankruptcy protections. The American Gaming Association issued a statement to the newspaper that said those operators need the money to help support their employees who are now out of work.

“As state governments close casinos as a part of the urgent public health response to COVID-19, elected leaders should move just as urgently to support the workers and businesses who will bear the brunt of those effects. Our immediate priorities are actions that provide liquidity to allow us to support employees,” read the statement.

Casinos in Nevada, New Jersey, and Maryland have all closed at the mandate of state officials. Numerous casinos around the country have closed as well, with the most recent coming Wednesday with the closing of Seminole Hard Rock’s Tampa location.

Other casinos around the country have kept operating in the midst of the pandemic, but have instituted certain restrictions to comply with CDC recommendations against large gatherings.

It’s more than just commercial casinos asking for stimulus money. Tribal casinos want some federal tax dollars as well.

According to Fox Business, the Native American gaming industry requested $18 billion in aid from the federal government. The tribes argue that, along with continued pay for employees, it will also help tribal governments from defaulting on loans, and also help provide health and education services to its members.

“Providing the means for tribal governments to continue paying employees’ salaries and benefits will immensely help this country recover,” read a letter addressed to representatives in the House Native American Caucus.

Lawmakers have already approved two stimulus packages in response to the outbreak. One that bails out the casino industry would be a third.

According to the AGA, the gambling industry supports 1.8 million jobs that are basically out of work for the time being. MGM Resorts alone has already laid off 70,000 employees just a few days into its shutdown.

 
 
 
 

Comments

nickelchip
7 months ago

I got an idea. I don't know if anyone has ever thought of this but I think online poker would do very well? Might help out a little.

 
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