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Gaming association seeks federal stimulus as COVID-19 weakens industry

The American Gaming Association believes the gaming industry should be included in any stimulus action as the coronavirus outbreak weakens the industry’s performance.

In a letter sent to the industry on Wednesday, American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller said the COVID-19 outbreak has “created uncertainty for the gaming industry and economy broadly.” The trade group represents the $261 billion U.S. casino industry.

“We have engaged and will continue to engage other industry associations as the implications of this evolving health crisis continue to affect our part of the broader hospitality industry,” Miller said.

Miller outlined steps the trade group had taken so far, including conversations with policymakers to ensure employee and customer health and safety, the postponement of G2E Asia and communications with congressional and administration leaders — including the CDC and Office of the Vice President.

The trade association also held a call this week with more than 50 government relations representatives from its membership to gauge priorities in any stimulus action.

“We continue to reiterate the need for gaming’s inclusion in any economic stimulus being considered,” Miller said in the letter. “We will work diligently to preserve industry interests over the coming weeks and months.”

Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association, said the lobbying organization is working with Nevada’s federal delegation as they consider various federal actions “during this uncertain time.”

“We continue to stress the critical necessity that our industry be included in any federal measures regarding recovery, stimulus and relief measures for the long-term health of Nevada’s economy,” Valentine said.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. spokesman Richard Broome said the company believes the industry should be included in a broad stimulus package.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. spokesman Michael Weaver declined to comment. Spokespeople for MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands Corp., Red Rock Resorts and Boyd Gaming Corp. did not respond to requests for comment.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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