COVID-19

COVID-19 has closed tribal casinos and cut off other vital revenue sources

Savannah Maher Jun 15, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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The Northern Arapaho Tribe’s Wind River Hotel and Casino, located on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, has been closed since mid-March. Savannah Maher
COVID-19

COVID-19 has closed tribal casinos and cut off other vital revenue sources

Savannah Maher Jun 15, 2020
The Northern Arapaho Tribe’s Wind River Hotel and Casino, located on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, has been closed since mid-March. Savannah Maher
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Some Native American tribes have seen high infection rates from COVID-19. And the COVID-19 pandemic has also stalled one of the primary economic engines for tribes. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of tribal casinos have closed their doors. For tribes like the Northern Arapaho, that means an abrupt interruption of revenue that funds vital social services. And unlike state and local governments, tribes don’t have a tax base to fall back on.

Joseph Kalt, with The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, says that without sufficient federal aid, casino closures could set tribal economies back decades and have a catastrophic impact on reservation life. It also means social services are at risk just when they’re needed most to help combat COVID-19.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out recently from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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