Trump Administration Stimulus Should Aid US Gaming Industry
Posted On March 29, 2020
As almost a third of the world’s population experience some form of lockdown amidst the Covid-19 crisis, Donald Trump’s stimulus package looks set to help one hard-hit aspect of American business.
The Covid-19 virus is causing widespread disruption and panic around the world, with businesses closing and whole countries effectively shutting down to stop it spreading. That’s hitting all aspects of society, with American workers unsure of when they can return to employment.
Businesses are being hit hard too, with the gaming industry one area likely to suffer. Las Vegas might be the gaming center of the world when it comes to casinos and bright lights, but all of America’s 465 commercial gaming establishments are likely to be affected. That’s a $70bn dollar industry that will grind to a halt overnight.
Casinos are already under threat from online gaming and are having to adapt and evolve in order to retain their business. The prizes on offer by online providers means players now don’t have to travel to casinos for big payouts. Online providers are also becoming more effective at enticing new players. Case in point, Gala Casino offers enticing welcome bonuses and free spins to attract new players that most traditional casinos won’t offer, which in turn increases the pressure on brick and mortar establishments. Amidst that crisis, and legislation being passed to increase online providers, the casino industry is in dire need of a boost.
Instead, Covid-19 is a further blow, with reports suggesting some establishments could last just five months before going under. Las Vegas is one of the areas hit worst, with their industry largely based around tourism and the bright lights of the strip. All non-essential services were closed down in mid-March, including all gaming machines, devices, tables, games, and any equipment related to gaming activity. With such a threat looming large over a key industry in the US, President Trump’s recent stimulus announcement should be welcomed with open arms.
The $2tn rescue package announced last week does offer some hope to Nevada’s gaming industry, as their casinos, hotels and tourism businesses are eligible to apply for assistance which has been included to protect workers from layoffs as well as help stabilize large companies.
Whilst Las Vegas casinos are likely not to feel quite as much of a pinch with the backing of some big companies, some of the smaller establishments outside of Nevada could well struggle to come through this challenging period. The impact won’t just be felt by the businesses though and the stimulus package is aimed at helping every American.
Most households in the US will get $1200 to help see them through the current crisis and that will include many of the country’s estimated 1.7m employees connected to the gaming industry. In addition to that, Americans will receive $500 per child to further aid families and employees with hungry mouths to feed.
The stimulus package is a fantastic effort by the government to help keep America going through the worst pandemic in living memory and that reaches into every industry in the country, including the gaming industry. Trump’s actions should be applauded as once again, America has put the welfare of its citizens right at the forefront of common policy during even the most testing of times.
Geoff Walton is a writer for NRN. He's a strong advocate for the gaming and casino industry.