AGA urges Congress to follow Nevada’s lead in protecting casinos from COVID-19 liabilities

AGA urges Congress to follow Nevada’s lead in protecting casinos from COVID-19 liabilities

Following the recent passage of a casino protection bill in Nevada, the American Gaming Association (AGA) wants the US Congress to pass a similar measure to protect casinos against COVID-19 liabilities nationwide.

A few days back, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed a measure into law, providing casinos and other businesses much-needed protection from liabilities tied to corona virus-related lawsuits. The measure in question is Senate Bill 4 (SB4) that was signed into law by the Democratic governor during a virtual signing ceremony earlier this month.

The AGA, the nation-wide association that looks after the interests of gaming-related businesses like casinos, has raised demand to get a similar bill passed at the national level so that casinos throughout the United States could get protected against COVID-related lawsuits or other legal actions. Passed during a special session called by the Democratic governor, the bill not only aims to address corona virus-related liabilities and casino worker safety issues, but also to bring unemployment reforms, and address other issues.

Soon after the passage of SB4 in the Nevada Legislature, the AGA called for the federal government to pass a similar bill to protect gaming businesses nationwide, pointing to the fact that corona virus pandemic made a massive adverse impact on these businesses across the country.

Signing the bill, Gov. Sisolak acknowledged that the casino and hospitality industry was the most important economic engine for Nevada’s gaming-based economy. Bill Miller, president and chief executive officer of the AGA, expressed hope that the bill would help the state as well as casinos to focus on rebuilding the corona-hit economy.

Speaking on the topic, Miller said, “The COVID-19 crisis is not just exclusive to Nevada. It is incumbent upon Congress and the administration to follow Nevada’s leadership and enact timely, targeted and temporary liability relief provisions to safeguard responsible actors against frivolous lawsuits.”

Miller added that the protection was essential for casinos and other businesses to keep on contributing to a safe and effective recovery from corona virus crisis.

Most of the tribal and commercial casinos across the US have resumed operations following their months-long closure due to COVID-19. However, the properties are still struggling to swing back to profitability as they are operating at reduced capacity. The federal government is expected to announce some assistance and protection as part of its next COVID-19 funding measure. However, talks on the measure are stalled as the Democrats and Republicans are trying to settle their differences on their bills.