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With the majority of America’s casinos shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the American Gaming Association is forecasting a loss of roughly $43.5 billion for the gaming industry if the lights stay off for two months.
Since Nevada’s announcement of the closure of all gaming establishments, the AGA has declared that 95% of all commercial casinos and 76% of tribal casinos are currently not operating in the United States.
The AGA estimates that casinos pay out around $74 billion in annual salaries to employees and add $41 billion to local and state tax bases with tax revenue and revenue sharing.
The wide spread of coronavirus has forced businesses all over the world to close but the breadth of the gaming industry in America certainly affects hundreds of thousands of employees. The AGA has pegged the number of employees working in the gaming industry at around 616,000.
Bill Miller, AGA President and CEO claims that over 315,000 jobs are directly correlated to businesses that rely on the casino business alongside the employees directly hired by gaming operators.
“The impact on our employees, their families, and communities is staggering, and the implications extend far beyond the casino floor,” Miller said. “Leading technology companies that supply the industry, and the nearly 350,000 small business employees that rely on gaming for their livelihood, are also feeling the devastating blow of this unprecedented public health crisis.”
Miller further states that if casinos remain closed for the next eight weeks that small businesses that provide construction, manufacturing, retail services and wholesale firms will also lose a large fraction of the $52 billion they make from the gaming businesses annually.
With the coronavirus outbreak, casinos remain shut down but it’s the sportsbooks that remain nervous if sports remain on hiatus as they stand to have to refund millions in futures bets.
Each futures bet has an expiration date before the sportsbook will issue a refund. Another stipulation is a game threshold that requires leagues to play a specific amount of games before the bet becomes action.
For example, the suspended NBA and NHL season has several season long bets from sportsbooks that stipulate that the league must play at least 80 games to meet the minimum game requirement to pay off the bet. With the leagues hoping to restart over the summer, it is unlikely that either association could reach 80 games for their season.
Events that have already been affected include the Masters golf tournament but not the postponed Kentucky Derby. Circa Sports sportsbook manager Chris Bennett told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that while he’s disappointed in the loss of time with the Masters futures bets cancellation, he knows that bettors have to get the money back at some point.
“You have to have some type of endpoint because customers have their money tied up,” Bennett said. “You can’t just hold that money forever. It might discourage betting.”
With the potential losses totaling in the billions for casinos, to lose futures bets will only impact the bottom line of losses even more for the gaming industry.
A futures bet is a proposition wager that is set into the future. For example, the most common futures bet is a wager on a team’s win/loss record for an entire season.
There are 1,957 casinos in the United States according to the World Casino Directory.
Nevada has 334 casinos to lead the United States. Oklahoma is second with 134 total casinos.
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