The American Gaming Association /AGA/ has issued a press release on its website, heaping praise on the US Senate for passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security /CARES/ Act, urging the House to move quickly to progress the bill to the President, to ensure the necessary legislation is in place to help prop up the gambling industry, among others, during these unprecedented times of coronavirus-dominated business and social environment.
“The American Gaming Association /AGA/ 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.”Bill Miller, President and CEO, AGA
The comprehensive bill that was introduced by Senate Majority Leader, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, consists of economic stimulus for individuals, states and businesses, in response to the economic and health crisis due to the coronavirus /Covid-19/ pandemic and amounts to a mammoth $2 trillion.
Senate Approved Despite Political Differences
The package that includes injection of loans, tax breaks and direct payments for major corporations and individual taxpayers passed on a 96-0 vote just before midnight Wednesday after days of intense negotiations between Senate Republicans and Democrats, as there were demands for changes to the bill. Republicans wanted to place provisions to ensure people laid off could not earn more from the aid package than they would have earned if still employed in their current roles.
Even before the bill was introduced, the AGA was beating the drum that the betting and gaming industry would not survive this economic downturn without federal aid, and most importantly, would not go down alone as it will drag several others industries with it. As per AGA’s estimations, $43.5 billion would be the total virus impact on the US economy from the casino closures.
Loans, Direct Payments, Tax Cuts
The economic aid package the Senate approved and is scheduled for the House to vote on Friday, before being presented to the President to sign into law, provides $532 billion in loans and assistance for businesses, $61 billion specifically for airlines, $150 billion for states and local stimulus funds.
An additional $377 billion would be available for small businesses, while for individuals there would be $290 billion in direct payments of $1,200 for each adult, lower- and middle-income American, and $500 for each child, and insurance for unemployment would be vastly expanded to the amount of $260 billion. Another $290 billion would be provided for tax cuts. There would be money for hospitals, some of which are on the verge or struggling, needing to replenish their stockpiles.
For the gaming industry, the economic stimulus provided in the package would help the industry preserve its ability to serve as a valuable job creator and community partner, the AGA CEO concludes.