Casinos are asking Congress for emergency financial relief amid the coronavirus outbreak, The Washington Post reports. Lobbyists have reportedly been pushing for the aid in recent days, and it could come in a comprehensive bailout package—like the airlines may receive—or through other means like cash payments, special bankruptcy protections, or deferred taxes. A representative of Wynn Resorts, owned by Trump ally and donor Steve Wynn, has reportedly pushed to receive cash directly from the government. A Wynn Resorts spokesperson has not spoken publicly on the matter.
In a statement Monday, the American Gaming Association said its $260 billion industry was at a “near standstill” and said the assistance would allow it to “support” its 1.8 million employees—some of them low-wage workers. While Atlantic City and in Maryland casinos have been shut down, some casinos in Las Vegas are still operating despite guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discouraging gatherings and events of more than 50 people or more.
The reported push for aid comes after the Trump administration announced plans to bolster the oil and gas industry, and pledged to push for bailouts to the airline, cruise, and hospitality industries. President Trump’s company previously owned and operated a number of casinos in Atlantic City and other locations, and he still owns a Las Vegas hotel with casino magnate Phil Ruffin.