Coronavirus: Just one story topic dominated the headlines this week By Howard Stutz, Executive Editor, CDC Gaming Reports March 21, 2020 at 5:00 am At the 2005 Global Gaming Expo, just weeks after Hurricane Katrina wiped out the Mississippi Gulf Coast casino market, the-American Gaming Association CEO Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., described the devastation as “the worst disaster to ever hit our industry.” I went back to the Las Vegas Review-Journal newsroom and told my editor we needed to see the destruction for ourselves. Photographer John Locher and I then spent five days in Mississippi and New Orleans chronicling the recovery for a multi-part series. We only need to look into our back yards to see the coronavirus destruction. It’s like a Category 5 storm touched every facet of our industry. The harm is economic, but buildings and infrastructure remain standing. The damages are not physical. They are mental. The casinos and resorts, gaming and non-gaming, are silenced. More than 616,000 gaming industry employees are facing an uncertain future. That’s one reason the AGA, gaming leaders and the Congressional representatives are seeking the industry’s inclusion in a prospective $850 million to $1 trillion federal stimulus package. The gaming industry is part of the tourism and hospitality sectors. Gaming has positives and faults like any other business in corporate America. This industry is resilient, and it’s being tested like it never has before. We will recover. In Las Vegas, the #VegasStrong hashtag became a symbol of strength, toughness, and recovery after the Oct. 1, 2017 mass shootings. How about the #GamingStrong hashtag for today? Be safe everyone.