MGM Doesn’t Plan to Take U.S. Loans Under Coronavirus Stimulus

(Bloomberg) -- MGM Resorts International has no plans to take direct financial aid from the federal government, but may take advantage of loan guarantees only as a backstop if the coronavirus shutdown of the casino industry lasts too long.

MGM doesn’t plan to borrow from the $450 billion federal stimulus fund passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, the company said. Federal loan guarantees, however, could be useful.

Jim Murren, who stepped down as the company’s CEO on March 22 and is now heading a virus-relief task force in Nevada, met with Trump in the White House on March 17 to argue for casino-industry aid.

The $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill offers a number of benefits, in addition to the loan program. It extends workers’ unemployment assistance by 13 weeks and increases their weekly compensation by $600. It also allows companies to defer their payroll taxes, along with other tax incentives.

“This is an unprecedented crisis, and we appreciate the federal government taking decisive action to mitigate the impact and support Americans during this time of need,” MGM said in the statement. “Our goal is to reopen our doors and get employees back to work as soon as public health and safety allow. These provisions help pave the way for that outcome.”

MGM, the largest operator of resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, has closed all of its U.S. casinos to help prevent the spread of the virus. The company said earlier Friday it was cutting costs, laying off workers and delaying capital spending. MGM also said it had $3.9 billion in cash on hand.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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