AGA urges Washington to move ‘comprehensively’ with CARES act

Following the passing of the CARES Act by the Senate, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has urged the House to move quickly to ensure the legislation is based in order to protect the individuals most impacted by the economic standstill. 

The CARES Act, also known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, is meant to address the economic fallout currently facing the US as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak, with the AGA now ‘working tirelessly’ to ensure its employees and businesses ‘see necessary relief.’ 

A statement from AGA President and CEO Bill Miller read: “The American Gaming Association applauds the bipartisan action taken by the U.S. Senate on the CARES Act, which will bring meaningful relief for employees, employers, and tribal governments during this unprecedented public health crisis. 

“This bipartisan Senate bill is an important step to preserve the gaming industry’s ability to continue to serve as a valuable job creator and community partner. We urge the House to move swiftly to pass this legislation.

“In total, shutting gaming down for two months will cost the American economy $43.5 billion in lost economic activity, underscoring the need for swift action.” 

As it stands, nearly all commercial and tribal casino properties, 980 out of a possible 989, have ceased operations, directly affecting 650,000 employees who, as a result of the health and safety measures put in place, have been prevented from working. 

Moreover, should the gaming industry remain shut down for two months then it is estimated that the livelihoods of those 650,000 individuals will be in danger along with an additional 17,000 gaming supplier jobs and 350,000 American small business workers supported by the gaming industry.

Miller concluded: “This has been an unprecedented period for the gaming industry, our employees, and the communities where we operate. In a matter of days, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and subsequent public health measures have shut down the gaming industry.

“Our message to Washington: act swiftly and comprehensively to mitigate the dire impact on America’s gaming employees and the small businesses that support them. We urge the House to move quickly to pass this legislation to protect gaming employees, their families, and communities, who are bearing the brunt of this economic standstill. 

“The AGA will continue to engage with Congressional and administration leadership on additional measures to respond to this rapidly evolving crisis. This is a resilient industry, and I have every confidence we will get through this together. Stay healthy and be well.”