Mississippi has been hit hard only this time it is not the floor or hurricanes responsible for their loss in Casino business but the global pandemic Coronavirus. The outbreak of coronavirus which has put everyone’s life in stake has compelled the state to close down 26 state-regulated casinos. The temporary closure of the casino has been ordered by the State Gaming Commission which took place on March 16. It is going to be a week and the official still don’t know when they will open again.
With the shutting down of the casinos, more than 19,000 employees are now temporary unemployed because they have nothing to do except sitting at home. According to the State Economist Darrin Web , February saw a great loss when gaming transfers to the state’s general fund were only $9.4 million. In a statement given by Darrin, he said, “If the casinos are closed three months, the general fund loses roughly $35.7 million; if closed six months, it’s roughly $68.9 million. In fiscal year 2019, gaming transfers to the general fund were $136.6 million with gaming representing 2.3 percent of the general fund.”
State Gaming Commission Executive Director Allen Godfrey also explains how closing the casino was a tough challenge for the state due to the impact on the employees. “But based on the best information we had coming from the State Department of Health, which said that gatherings of a certain number be avoided, it was in the best interest of the public to close the casino.”
As per the Director’s estimation, the gaming contributes approximately $4.5 million per week including the local distribution and sales taxes associated with the industry.
“I do not have an idea when casinos can reopen but will wait to get guidance from our health officials and elected leader,” he further added.
Another statement came from the executive director of the State Gaming Association, who said that casino operators were not involved in the decision to close. “We depend on the experience and knowledge of the Mississippi Gaming Commission on the precise time to close our business, and we will wait for the necessary federal and state health entries to decide that business can safely resume,” he said.