Las Vegas Casinos Leading Charitable Response to Pandemic


Las Vegas casinos are stepping up to the plate to plate food for those in need during the global health emergency.

Las Vegas casinos coronavirus

It’s dark times in Las Vegas, but casinos are trying to make light of a difficult situation by aiding local food banks and those in need. (Image: John Locher/AP)

Day by day, new reports are coming in regarding casino operators donating food and supplies to their local communities. With all casinos in Nevada, including those on the Las Vegas Strip, closed for at least 30 days, food that would have otherwise been placed on buffets and served in restaurants is instead going to area food banks.

MGM Resorts, the state’s largest employer and operator of the most Strip casinos, has donated tens of thousands of pounds of food in the states where the casino giant operates. In Las Vegas, it’s joining Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, Station Casinos, and Boyd Gaming in donating hundreds of pallets of perishable food.

A few notable charities Las Vegas casinos are giving to include the Three Square Food Bank, City Impact, Veterans Village, and Catholic Charities.

Along with food, the casinos are donating supplies such as gloves, hand sanitizer, takeout containers, and disposable silverware. Station and Boyd have both set up distribution centers for anyone in need of essential food.

Las Vegas Sands announced a $250,000 donation to three area charities. Treasure Island donated all of its surplus food to My Father’s House, while Sahara Las Vegas allowed its employees to pick from perishable items before donating any excess.

In Reno, the Atlantis Casino Resort donated its perishable food to the Northern Nevada Food Bank. The Grand Sierra held a food distribution line for team members, who were able to take home bags of produce, dairy, and other items.

National Response

The American Gaming Association (AGA) says the coronavirus has led to 95 percent of the nation’s commercial casinos and more than three out of four Native American gaming venues being temporarily closed. If the suspensions linger for eight weeks, the AGA says the US economy will be deprived of $21.3 billion in direct consumer spending.

But commercial casinos and Indian tribes are, for now, putting aside their bottom lines to provide critical relief.

After closing its Pechanga Resort Casino on March 19, the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians announced $100,000 worth of food from its 20 restaurants and bars would be going to the needy and homeless in the Southern California area.

California has been the hardest hit coronavirus state. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has ordered the state’s nearly 40 million residents to stay home. There are 675 positive cases of the disease in the Golden State, and 16 people have died.

Another tribe, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, which operates four Four Winds casinos in Michigan, donated 7,450 pounds of food to Feeding America and Cultivate.

There When Needed

Las Vegas might be known as Sin City, but the casinos are always one of the first to help out in times of need. Following the 2017 mass shooting, the casinos collectively gave $17.7 million to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund and Vegas Strong Fund.

Casinos weren’t alone, of course. Las Vegas-headquartered Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, offered to cover funeral expenses for all 58 of those who died.


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