Native American gaming industry requests $18bn

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The Native American gaming industry has requested $18bn in US federal aid as it shuts casinos that are the sole source of commercial revenue for dozens of tribes in a bid to slow the coronavirus epidemic.

Tribal governments will be unable to provide health and education services and will default on loans unless they get federal support to make up for lost casino money, the National Indian Gaming Association said in a letter to members of the US House of Representatives.

“Providing the means for tribal governments to continue paying all employees’ salaries and benefits will immensely help this country recover,” said the letter addressed to Representatives Deb Haaland and Tom Cole of the House Native American Caucus.

The US’ 460 Indian casinos are in the process of closing given the threat of coronavirus to tribal members and many non-Native American employees.

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