Caesars Entertainment launches assistance fund for staff affected by COVID-19

Caesars Entertainment is the latest company to announce a support scheme for staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Caesars Entertainment has announced the launch of a new assistance fund to help support staff and local communities in the US that have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

This news comes after Caesars announced it had furloughed roughly 90% of its total workforce in response to the temporary shutdown of US casinos.

The Caesars Cares initiative

Caesar’s new initiative, the Caesars Cares Initiative, will be funded by donations from the operator’s board of directors and executives, which have been collected while Caesar’s casino properties have been closed.

Currently, all commercial casinos and most tribal casinos in the US have been temporarily closed to help halt the spread of the coronavirus. It is not yet clear when the country’s casinos will be allowed to re-open.

The Louisiana-based public charity, Lifeboat, will administer Caesars Cares with support from an independent board of directors and a representative from Caesars. Applications for assistance will be evaluated by members of the board.

On top of this, donations made by the Caesars Foundation will be used to support charities tackling issues related to the coronavirus pandemic in communities where Caesars operates. Prior to this, Caesars has made donations to food banks and helped provide cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment items to medical facilities.

Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, said: “Company support, in the forms of extended pay, paid time off and uninterrupted, company-paid medical benefits through the earlier of employees’ return to work and June 30, 2020 for employees enrolled in company-sponsored health plans, as well as government assistance, will be a financial bridge for most of our furloughed employees until they return to work. However, some team members at our US properties may suffer other unexpected setbacks that require additional help.

“Caesar’s culture has always been based on caring for our people and our communities. Caesars Cares will be available to our workforce nationwide, and Caesars Foundation will support local charities engaged in fighting this public health emergency. These initiatives reinforce this caring tradition and are certainly appropriate in these challenging circumstances.”

The impact of coronavirus on the US gambling space

With the closure of all US casinos and the shutdown of almost all sports, the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the US gambling sector.

Last month, the American Gaming Association (AGA) warned that the shutdown of the country’s casinos could cost the economy as much as $43.5bn in the upcoming months. The AGA also called for federal support from the government to help the industry’s employees and their families that would be impacted by the closures.

The US Senate also passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act which created a $2tn stimulus package to help people, businesses and states affected by the pandemic.

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