A Message from Chair Cathy Judd-Stein from April 15 Newsletter
The MGC hopes this message finds you safe and in good health. Our thoughts and concern remain with everyone who has been directly affected by the virus and with the frontline workers who continue to heroically protect and serve our community.
The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus continues to challenge us in ways unimaginable, both professionally and personally. During this time of great uncertainty, our team is closely monitoring new developments and making every effort to effectively adapt to the changing environment. We continue to post COVID-related MGC actions and decisions to our dedicated webpage and encourage our constituents and stakeholders to stay connected.
On Saturday, March 14, the Commission held an emergency public meeting and voted to temporarily suspend casino and racing operations to take effect by 6 a.m. on March 15. Since then, the Commission has voted to extend property closures in keeping with state mandates and will revisit operational status prior to May 4.
The gaming commission and its licensees knew that the decision to close casinos in mid-March would have a drastic impact on monthly revenue potential and acknowledge that financial uncertainties will continue to persist for now. However, this unprecedented situation is a public health crisis first and foremost, and taking immediate protective measures to safeguard everyone’s physical well-being was paramount to all other complex and challenging considerations.
The MGC is fully engaged with our licensees about forward-looking plans and a safe return to gaming operations. At the same time, the prudent next steps and Commission decision-making will be informed as scientific data and other relevant facts emerge, the landscape evolves, and the short and long term economic effects come more clearly into view.
The MGC understands and empathizes with the challenges that many small businesses and gaming industry workers face due to the hardships caused by COVID-19. MGC’s Office of Workforce, Supplier and Diversity Development is taking the lead on maintaining and updating an online list of available resources, including hosting a series of webinars to facilitate information-sharing about business strategies and emerging sources of support.
I continue to be inspired and grateful for the multitude of creative ways others rise to the challenge and lend a helping hand to the community. Mary Thurlow, MGC’s program manager and a talented quilt maker, is using her sewing skills to make and donate numerous face masks. Recently, MGM Springfield donated sleeping cots and outdoor heaters to Mercy Medical Center and the City of Springfield.
Please take care of yourself and your loved ones. I know we can get through this, together.