AGA expects no more financial aid until after elections

Federal relief packages are unlikely before the US elections.
Federal relief packages are unlikely before the US elections.

The AGA’s government relations official has said election politics are complicating the possibility of a federal relief fund.

US.- An official from the American Gaming Association has told the casino industry it should not expect any financial aid until after the US elections.

Chris Cylke, the AGA’s government relations official, said election politics complicated the possibility of offering a federal relief package for the casino industry before the elections.

Cylke said: “There’s been an expectation for some time that there would be another package following the CARES Act, but we’ve been in a kind of stimulus purgatory. The prevailing view is that something needs to be done, but there are fractured views across Congress.”

Back in April, the government amended the CARES Act to permit gambling businesses to apply for federal coronavirus aid. While large casino companies were generally not eligible for the funding, many smaller ones were able to receive funds for payroll and other basic expenses.

But giving coronavirus aid is a contested topic in congress. The Republicans want to set aside $1.8 trillion whereas the Democrats want to allocate $2.2 trillion.

Despite many casinos reopening across the US, casinos are operating at reduced capacities. Gambling tourism has also plummeted, which has been particularly damaging to the Las Vegas casino industry.

The Nevada Resort Association maintained that financial aid is desperately needed across the industry.

The associations’ president and CEO, Virginia Valentine, said: “Nevada continues to be one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic, with too many Nevadans still out of work, tourism-dependent businesses fighting to survive and massive declines in state revenues.

“Timely bipartisan action by Congress to pass additional emergency relief to help furloughed or laid-off employees, impacted businesses and state and local governments is essential in stopping further economic devastation.”