American Gaming Association Continues To Push For COVID-19 Financial Relief
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has collected data from gaming operators across the country which show that the overall gaming industry is slowly recovering after being devastated by COVID-19. Third quarter revenues have topped $9 billion which is good news given the fact that it is a 290 percent increase from the second quarter of 2020.
While the numbers are positive, in the overall scheme of things it is still a 19 percent decline when compared to the third quarter in 2019. Bill Miller, CEO of the AGA said while third quarter numbers were optimistic, the full recovery of the U.S gaming industry would correspond with public health concerns and how well COVID-19 is managed.
AGA Calls For COVID-19 Fiscal Relief
The AGA continues to campaign for financial relief from Washington to help U.S. casino operators. The AGA said over 1,000 casinos across the country was forced to shut down during the COVID-19 lockdown. Gaming operators have taken a massive hit in revenues and a number of small private based operators and tribal gaming operators are struggling to stay afloat.
The AGA also pointed out that thousands of casino employees have been laid off due to the extended lockdown and casino operators needed more financing to go out and start hiring once again. The AGA said Washington D.C needed to release a casino financial assistance package that will help the industry recover and provide much needed assistance to casino employees.
The big concern for casino operators is that a second wave of COVID-19 is rocking multiple states and forcing casinos to once again close their doors. Some of the states that are dealing with a new wave include New York, Massachusetts, Colorado and New Mexico.
Casinos In Five States Doing Well
While this is bad news for casinos in the above states, there is some good news coming through from other states. The five states that have posted an increase in third quarter revenues when compared year-on-year, include Arkansas with a 3 percent increase, Mississippi which has a 2.8 percent increase.
Ohio has biggest increase with 7.5 percent, followed by South Dakota with 6.1 percent increase and Pennsylvania with an increase of 3.8 percent. Tropicana Atlantic City President Jacqueline Grace said Americans are looking to escape from the whole COVID-19 pressure and a lot of them are doing this by visiting the casinos and playing their favorite games like usual.
Online gambling brought in $435 million and sports betting contributed $5.95 billion during the third quarter.