The President and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGE) has called on the US government to include the nation’s gaming operators in any economic stimulus package it implements to counter the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement issued overnight in which he notes the AGA is keeping a close eye on global developments, including in Macau, Bill Miller said he has spoken at length to political leaders about the need to support the gaming and hospitality industry.
“As COVID-19 impacts increasingly hit closer to home, we are communicating with administration (CDC, Office of the Vice President) and Congressional leaders, including the Congressional Gaming Caucus,” Miller said.
“In these ongoing discussions, we continue to reiterate the need for gaming’s inclusion in any economic stimulus being considered. We are also communicating back to policymakers the steps that our members are taking to ensure employee and customer health and safety.
“We convened a call yesterday with more than 50 government relations representatives from AGA’s membership to gauge priorities in any stimulus action, and we will work diligently to preserve industry interests over the coming weeks and months.
“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.”
The AGA is co-organizer of G2E and G2E Asia, the latter of which was last week postponed from May until late July. Macau authorities have so far rejected calls for tax breaks or other concessions for Macau’s gaming operators, although Miller said the AGA was fully supportive of any recovery efforts after GGR plummeted by 87.8% in February.
“The Macau gaming market plays a vital role in the global gaming industry, and is essential to the interests of US operators and suppliers,” Miller said.
“We will continue to support efforts as Macau returns to full capacity.”