The coronavirus pandemic has crippled the workforce around the globe, and the US gaming industry is no exception.
According to statistics from the Department of Labor, roughly 6.65 million people nationwide have filed for unemployment. With thousands of casino employees suddenly out of work, it’s essential to know the unemployment options that are out there.
With all 465 commercial casinos in the US temporarily closed, gaming markets in the eastern, southern and western parts of the country are highly vulnerable due to the number of people they employ.
In Mississippi, Nevada and New Jersey, the pandemic has affected more than 251,000 gaming employees and 268 casinos:
- Mississippi: 19,000 workers, 26 casinos
- New Jersey: 26,000 workers, 23 casinos
- Nevada: 206,000 workers, 219 casinos
General unemployment application process information
When filing for unemployment, you will need to provide basic information, no matter which state you call home.
First, you might be wondering if you qualify for unemployment. Simply, if your job in the gaming industry was affected by the coronavirus pandemic in any way, shape or form, you are eligible.
However, how much you are eligible for and how long those benefits will last are different questions. Those answers will vary state by state, depending on several factors. So, whether you were a full- or part-time worker, and when and for how long you were employed.
You might need to provide the following information to begin the unemployment process in any state:
- Valid email
- State ID or driver’s license
- Name of employer or company
- Hire date and last day of work
- Reason for unemployment
Some state employment departments might ask for additional information.
Unemployment info for Mississippi casino workers
As of writing, at least 31,000 residents in Mississippi have filed for unemployment, with a bulk of applicants coming from the casino gaming industry.
Those in the gaming world who are out of work and looking to file for unemployment should visit the MS Department of Employment Security website to begin the process.
Applicants will need to share a few bits of general information, which includes their current address, date of birth and Social Security number.
Residents are also encouraged to be patient; there is a high volume of filings in MS and across the US.
Unemployment info for New Jersey casino workers
More than 371,000 people have filed for unemployment in New Jersey, with at least 26,000 coming from the casino industry. According to NorthJersey.com, the state is asking applicants to visit the website at a specific time, depending on the last four digits of their Social Security number.
Applicants should have all their relevant information ready.
Unemployment info for Nevada casino workers
The gaming industry in Nevada was perhaps hit the hardest. Laid off or furloughed workers in the Silver State should head to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) website to get started.
Due to the high volume of claims, the DETR is reportedly increasing its staff to provide assistance better.
“We greatly empathize and apologize for the volume and are hoping the increase in hours, staffing, technology support, the webform and other vehicles under (the) process that the issue will be mitigated,” said Tiffany Tyler-Garner, director of the DETR.
Additionally, those who are considered professional gamblers also qualify.
Major casino closures could extend into May, so the sooner you file, the better. In times such as these, it’s hard to remain optimistic. But the world will come around and, along with it, the gaming industry.