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Add Casinos to the List of Industries Seeking a Government Bailout

By Rich Duprey - Mar 17, 2020 at 12:56PM

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As the number of industries imperiled by the coronavirus grows, more are asking for taxpayer assistance.

Casinos are among the many businesses facing new restrictions on their operations in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Yet where restaurants are also facing new closure orders, many are able to still execute carryout orders and delivery to offset some of the impact they will be forced to bear. Casinos don't have such alternatives.

The trade group representing the gambling industry says the government should help casinos and their employees weather the storm.

Rundown casino sign

Image source: Getty Images.

Betting on a willingness to help workers 

A number of industries are turning to the government for financial assistance. Airlines, for example, are seeking a $50 billion bailout, while the White House is reportedly looking to help oil and gas producers after prices cratered.

The American Gaming Association, which represents both commercial and tribal casino operators and their suppliers, hasn't put a price tag on the assistance they're seeking, but notes they've been forced into a position of inactivity.

"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," the group said in a statement. "Our immediate priorities are actions that provide liquidity to allow us to support employees."

The three governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut ordered the closure of all casinos in their states. New Jersey's casinos, however, will still be able to utilize their online betting sites, an option not available in all states.

MGM Resorts (MGM 1.51%) has closed all of its facilities in Las Vegas until further notice. Regional operator Boyd Gaming (BYD 4.31%) has closed casinos in four states, but not in Nevada.

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MGM Resorts International Stock Quote
MGM Resorts International
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Boyd Gaming Corporation Stock Quote
Boyd Gaming Corporation
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