he American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Bill Miller said in a statement Monday that “elected leaders should move just as urgently to support the workers and businesses,” who will bear the impact of COVID-19 effects in the US gaming industry, as more casinos across the country are ordered to shut down or voluntarily decide to close their doors.
“In a matter of days, the U.S. casino industry went from a growing, thriving segment of the U.S. economy to a near standstill,” Miller stated. “We are witnessing a rapidly increasing number of our nation’s commercial and tribal casinos that have been shuttered, impacting 60* percent of all casino employees. This will have a dire effect on the communities in which we operate across 43 states.”
“As state governments close casinos as a part of the urgent public health response to COVID-19, elected leaders should move just as urgently to support the workers and businesses who will bear the brunt of those effects. Our immediate priorities are actions that provide liquidity to allow us to support employees,” he added.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced Tuesday that it will temporarily shut down its owned properties in North America, consistent with directives from various government bodies. "It has become clear that we must take this extreme action to help contain the virus and protect the safety and well-being of our team members and guests," said Caesars CEO Tony Rodio. Caesars said it has a “strong liquidity position” with more than $2.8 billion of cash on hand.
Joining other governments that ordered the closure of all casinos statewide, including Nevada and those reported by Yogonet on Monday and Tuesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday declared a statewide public health disaster emergency effective at noon that included limiting gatherings to 10 people and closing all casinos and other facilities conducting pari-mutuel wagering or gaming operations, in response to the state’s coronavirus outbreak. Harrah's and Horseshoe casinos in Council Bluffs said they work with officials to establish a reopening date.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also on Tuesday ordered the state's three casinos — Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Southland in West Memphis, and Saracen Casino Annex in Pine Bluff — to close for the remainder of March as one of the efforts to limit the spread of covid-19.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced that all casinos in the state would be closed at midnight on Tuesday. He stated that he had consulted with the Chairman of the Gaming Commission and made the decision in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Casinos in Missouri will reopen on March 30.
State-owned casinos in Kansas are shutting down to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Kansas Lottery announced Tuesday that, after consulting with the Kansas Governor’s Office and the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, they have suspended all state-owned casino gaming starting at the end of business on March 17. Those facilities will remain closed until at least March 30.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice confirmed on Tuesday evening the state’s first confirmed coronavirus case – in the Eastern Panhandle. And he mandated the closure of all casinos, bars and restaurants in the state, though he didn’t give any details about when the shutdown would begin. The governor himself owns a casino at The Greenbrier.
In South Florida, the Casino @ Dania Beach and The Big Easy Casino joined Calder Casino and The Casino at Gulfstream Park Tuesday night in voluntarily closing to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Casino @ Dania Beach and Big Easy closed at 10 p.m. Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, putting them in line with the CDC’s latest recommendation of avoiding gatherings larger than 10 people. Big Easy didn’t give a return date, but The Casino @ Dania Beach plans to reopen April 1, April Fools’ Day.
In California, Soboba Casino Resort near San Jacinto, the Agua Caliente casinos in Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs and Valley View Casino and Hotel in San Diego County became the most recent tribal casinos to announce temporary closures due to the novel coronavirus.
In Minnesota, The Fond du Lac Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa announced Tuesday that it would temporarily close Black Bear Casino Resort in Carlton and Fond-du-Luth Casino in downtown Duluth. The closure will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday and will last at least 14 days, according to a news release from the Fond du Lac Band. During the closure, casino staff will deep clean the properties and perform other maintenance tasks.
Arizona’s Gila River Hotels and Casinos announced Tuesday evening that it would temporarily close three of its casinos — Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte, and Vee Quiva — for two weeks in an effort to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The three casinos will officially close at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, according to a news release.