Las Vegas Sands ups PPE donations as Spinola aims to offset declines

Las Vegas Sands is to donate in excess of two millions items of PPE to medical and health care professionals as the industry continues to react and implement mitigation efforts concerning the global coronavirus pandemic.

The company is to donate two million medical masks and 20,000 protective suits to help health-care professionals, first responders and nonprofit organisations in the fight against COVID-19.

This marks the second round of personal protective equipment donations Sands has made, following a previous provision of 100,000 masks to the Las Vegas health-care community, 5,000 masks to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and 1,900 coronavirus test kits to the state of Nevada. 

The company is also fulfilling its pledge to give $250,000 to several local organisations during this time of need, as well as sending one million masks to News York to help health-care professionals and first responders in the state that currently has the most cases.

“Hopefully our donations will help protect people on the front lines so they can continue their invaluable work, and we can start to see the numbers of people affected begin to diminish,” explained Sheldon Adelson, Sands chairman and CEO

“Our properties in Las Vegas may be empty right now, but our hearts are full of hope for the future. The determination and courage I have seen in our Team Members, which I know is the same throughout this country, gives me every confidence we will get through this unprecedented crisis.” 

With US land-based casinos’ extended closures beginning to be implement, the Illinois Gaming Board has lengthened its own suspension of all video gaming operations at all licensed establishments of any kind and all casino gambling operations in Illinois until at least April 30, 2020.

In a media release it was commented that “The health and safety of patrons, gaming industry employees, Gaming Board staff, and all others in Illinois is the Gaming Board’s top priority.

“The Gaming Board is monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 and will continue to make decisions based on science, public health guidance, and applicable law and rules. We will also continue to update licensees and other stakeholders as new information becomes available.”

Canterbury Park Holding Corporation has become the latest organisation to implement temporary unpaid furloughs; taking additional action to help mitigate the financial impact resulting from the suspension of operations.

With action necessary due to “the duration of Canterbury Park’s temporary closure,” the company has implemented temporary unpaid furloughs impacting approximately 850 employees.

“Since suspending all operations at Canterbury Park on March 16, 2020, we have acted aggressively to preserve cash by reducing our operating expenses, suspending or delaying our 2020 planned capital expenditures, and suspending our quarterly cash dividend,” said Randy Sampson, Canterbury Park president and CEO.

“The additional actions we are implementing today are the hardest we have ever had to make given the impact on our dedicated employees for whom this situation is beyond our collective control. While this was an extremely difficult decision to make, the board of directors and I remain committed to taking the necessary actions that help ensure our employees’ health and safety as well as the company’s long-term future.

“We continue to work closely with Governor Walz, the Minnesota Department of Health and other government entities, and will seek their guidance on when Canterbury Park can reopen so that our team members’ way of life can get back to normal. We look forward to seeing our dedicated team members return to Canterbury Park once we reopen.”

Elsewhere, Spinola Gaming has been commenting on revenue falls across the land-based lottery sector due to the outbreak, offering its services to those in need in a bid to counter the slowdown.

The company suggests emerging markets are taking the biggest hit, with South America, India and China, which has seen sales decline 43.3 per cent, the heaviest hit. 

Furthermore, a series of drops has also affected the North American market, with Spinola insisting that the region has been “badly affected” due to COVID-19.

In Massachusetts, lottery revenue dropped by $1.3m in the second week of March, in Arkansas it dropped $3.6m from January to February, and in Ohio land-based lottery terminals in grocery stores are expected to be closed after being overrun with demand since the local casinos shut. Canadian-based operators Loto-Quebec and OLG have already completely suspended their land-based operations.

To help counter the threat, Spinola Gaming is offering a series of online webinars to show how its products and services can allow land-based operators to compete again.

Ade Repcenko, CEO of Spinola Gaming, explained: “In these circumstances, third party online operators become a real threat to the industry as players are turning to them in order to play the lottery games they normally get from the corner stores. 

“This threat, if prolonged, could make players change their habits and stick to online once the virus goes away, which will have long standing ramifications for the industry at large.

“We want to show operators how we can get them live in a matter of weeks with very minimal financial impact. 

“We have fast, cost effective solutions to allow operators to get back to business in a matter of weeks, with our market leading solutions enabling them to reach players in the comfort of their own home.”