US SENATE PASSES $2 TRILLION RELIEF PACKAGE THAT INCLUDES THE GAMING INDUSTRY
The bipartisan Senate bill passed Wednesday includes financial resources and tax provisions that bring relief for employees, employers, and tribal governments during the coronavirus health crisis. The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday before sending the bill to the White House.
The Senate voted late Wednesday night 96-0 to unanimously pass an unprecedented $2 trillion relief package in response to the damage to the U.S. economy caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday before sending the bill to the White House.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act — or CARES Act — includes financial resources and tax provisions “that will help preserve the gaming industry’s ability to continue to serve as a valuable job creator and community partner,” the American Gaming Association (AGA) said in a release.
The AGA anticipates there will be multiple legislative packages to address the public health and economic needs from COVID-19, and it said it will continue to work with Congress to implement more extensive measures to keep its employees on payroll, and ensure they have jobs to return to when this crisis subsides. AGA said it will continue to press on all fronts in Washington to ensure gaming priorities are included in COVID-19 relief efforts.
In a statement, AGA President and CEO Bill Miller commented on the CARES Act passage: “The American Gaming Association applauds the bipartisan action taken by the U.S. Senate on the CARES Act, which will bring meaningful relief for employees, employers, and tribal governments during this unprecedented public health crisis. This bipartisan Senate bill is an important step to preserve the gaming industry’s ability to continue to serve as a valuable job creator and community partner. We urge the House to move swiftly to pass this legislation.”
“Our message to Washington: act swiftly and comprehensively to mitigate the dire impact on America’s gaming employees and the small businesses that support them,” he added.
Miller also said that with almost all of the country’s commercial and tribal gaming facilities closed, an estimated 650,000 direct gaming employees are idled. He stated that if the industry remains shut down for two months, it will jeopardize the livelihoods of those individuals as well as the 17,000 gaming supplier jobs and 350,000 American small business workers supported by the gaming industry. In total, shutting gaming down for two months will cost the American economy $43.5 billion in lost economic activity, “underscoring the need for swift action,” he said.
Last week, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak directly asked President Donald Trump to ensure that any potential stimulus package aimed at curbing the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic include help for the hospitality and casinos industry. The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is also asking Congress for specific national emergency tribal economic relief grants, including no less than $20 billion in direct federal aid over the next six months. MGM and other hospitality-business leaders also met at the White House with Trump for similar requests.