The Commercial Casino industry of the United States is now at a total standstill. On Wednesday, South Dakota joined the list of other states to shut down commercial casinos in the wake of the COVID 19 outbreak.

David Ruth Jr, the Mayor or Deadwood, South Dakota, requested the casino operators of the city to close down the services to help the state to combat the spread of COVID 19 outbreaks.

South Dakota has most casinos per capita in the US. Some of the casinos planned to voluntarily shut down the services and Ruth urged everyone to do the same as soon as possible.

Governor Kristi Noem has signed an executive order to suspend or modify the business for those retail businesses that promote public gatherings. Public Gathering has been defined as a gathering of six to ten people where the separation of at least six feet is not possible.

Ruth said that Noem has empowered the municipalities to issue an order to close the businesses. However, he said he isn’t taking the step yet and he hopes that the operators will follow the request to help everyone.

The Deadwood Gaming Association later clarified that it is working with all the members to ensure that all the operations are closed by noon on Wednesday. The group said that this is a proactive decision even though there is no positive COVID 19 case in the Lawrence city and sign of community transmission.

American Gaming Association last week has announced that 95% of the 456 commercial casinos and 76% of the tribal casinos are shut down either voluntarily or by following the directives. The closure of Deadwood casinos would bring that number to 100% of commercial casinos and 97% of tribal casinos.

Last week, AGA said that 616K casino employees are out of work. The number would now increase to 649K. The AGA, however, continues to push the casino sector to be part of the fiscal stimulus package. No decision has been made yet on this.

A recent Macquarie Research Report suggested that the casinos would not able to sustain the current cash crunch situation for too long.

Penn National Gaming has cash for 5.2 months, whereas Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts can last up to 9 months with the current burning rate.

The tribal gaming operators are even more impacted. The cash generated to represent the bulk of their communities operating capital. It is expected that the tribal casinos would need to take very hard and drastic measures to combat the crunch.


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