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Nevada casino closures impact 206K workers, AGA finds

Updated March 19, 2020 - 5:10 pm

About 206,000 direct casino employees in Nevada are without work after Gov. Steve Sisolak’s Tuesday mandate, according to the American Gaming Association.

The mandate closed all 219 commercial casinos in the state for at least 30 days to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Each month that the Nevada gaming industry is shut down leads to $4.7 billion in lost economic activity, according to the national trade group representing the U.S. casino industry.

Nevada’s gaming workforce makes up about 33 percent of the total U.S. gaming workforce prevented from working because of the “important health and safety decisions made by state governments,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said in a Thursday report.

In all, about 95 percent of the country’s commercial casinos and about three-fourths of its tribal casinos have shuttered their doors in recent days.

If mass casino closures were to continue for eight weeks, the total U.S. economy would lose roughly $43.5 billion in economic activity, according to the report.

“The impact on our employees, their families, and communities is staggering, and the implications extend far beyond the casino floor,” Miller said in a Thursday statement. “Leading technology companiesthat supply the industry, and the

nearly 350,000 small-business employees (in the U.S.) that rely on gaming for their livelihood, are also feeling the devastating blow of this unprecedented public health crisis.”

Miller urged the federal government to “act swiftly” to get the country’s hospitality employees, and the small businesses that support them, back to work.

“Gaming employees, their families, and communities are bearing the brunt of this economic standstill and will continue to suffer if Congress and the administration don’t take immediate action,” he said.

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

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