The lavish floors of some Sin City casinos are repurposed as food banks to sustain workers from the gaming sector, who have lost their jobs after the industry shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Thousands of casino workers have lost their jobs and are now lining up on the city’s streets to obtain the much-needed food supplies.
The Nevada Public Radio reported that prior to the disease outbreak, one of the city’s food banks handed out roughly 1 million pounds of food supplies to the needy. This number has jumped to 1.3 million pounds worth of food in the months following the shutdown of Las Vegas casinos. The shutdown occurred in March when a nation-wide emergency was declared.
Mr. Larry Scott, Chief Operations Officer of the Three Square food bank, shared that the lines for food supplies extend for six miles at times. Members of different economic classes line up for the charity supplies, the Three Square COO told the local radio station. This goes to show all sectors of the local economy have been negatively impacted by the dangerous virus outbreak, Mr. Scott opined.
The Three Square COO also emphasized the food bank still manages to feed the needy regardless of the currently increased demand for supplies. The figures disclosed by Mr. Scott correspond with nationwide reports. The need for charity food supplies has skyrocketed by as much as 40% across the country.
Nevada Is Dealt a Huge Economic Blow, 39.6% Drop in March Gaming Revenue
The bulk of the supplies comes from donations from federal commodities and major retail hypermarket chains or food manufacturers such as Kraft Foods and Walmart. Donations are also made by some of the largest gambling operators on the territory of Sin City.
One prime example is the global hospitality and leisure company MGM Resorts International. The company donated a huge amount of “prepared-for-banquet” food.
The predictions of gambling industry insiders and experts are more than grim. Many of them are of the opinion the economy of the Silver State would suffer the most massive blow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated casino shutdown.
According to Brittany Bronson, who writes for the New York Times, similarly to many other states, the Silver State shut down all non-essential business operations after the nationwide emergency situation was declared in March.
The trouble is the best part of the economy in the state of Nevada is non-essential. The fragile economy of the Silver States relies for the most part solely on the hospitality and gambling sectors. The unexpected halt of the gaming industry might lead to devastating economic consequences for Nevada.
The negative consequences of the casino shutdown have already begun to manifest themselves. A report published by the Nevada Gaming Commission shows the gambling revenue in the state has shrunk by 39.6% in March. The revenue on the Las Vegas Strip alone has diminished by 45.7% while the state’s overall gaming profits stood at $618.1 million this past month.