As Coronavirus continues to affect our day-to-day lives, more and more businesses are revealing their plans for reducing the spread of the virus, which has affected nearly 200,000 people around the world. On Monday night, the Governor of Atlantic City, Phil Murphy, has ordered an indefinite closure of all casinos and resorts, following in Las Vegas and Maryland’s footsteps.
The announcement brings the total casinos closed in the biggest gambling cities in the US to 31 which is sure to have a massive effect on the economies of both Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Online casinos will still continue to operate during the crisis. Because of how much these casinos generate every single day, the casino industry has asked the US Congress for financial aid to help them during these closures.
This requested bailout package would allow the casino industry (which generates $260 billion dollars a year) to survive and support their staff as casinos across the country remain closed for the foreseeable future. The gambling industry in the US is made up of nearly 1.8 million jobs, so these closures are likely to affect more than just the wallets of the owners.
As major sporting events continue to be cancelled and sportsbook sites continue to lose events to offer odds on, the gambling industry in the UK is set to take a hit too. However, there are currently no plans for the UK government to step in and provide support, unlike in the US.
A spokesperson for the American Gambling Association said: “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 decision to close casinos can't have been an easy one, but necessary as the virus continues to spread and the US government bans gatherings of 50 people or more.
Trump’s government has already unveiled plans to help the oil and gas industry. Other industries, including airlines, cruise companies and the hospitality businesses are also expected to receive funding as the Coronavirus brings the world to a halt.
The irony of casinos asking Donald Trump for help is hard to ignore, as Trump has famously bankrupted five of his casinos in Atlantic City between 1984 and 2016. We have an infographic you can read to learn more about about the history of Trump’s casinos!