California COVID-19 Restrictions May Impact Las Vegas Recovery

The recovery of the gambling capital of the world – Las Vegas may be impacted by the recently enhanced measures in neighboring California. After observing spikes of positive COVID-19 cases, California rolled out enhanced measures last week aiming at reducing the spread of the virus.

California Rolls Out New Restrictions Following Surges of COVID-19 Cases

Responding to the COVID-19 spread, California rolled out a nighttime curfew last week. Starting from November 21 through December 21, the curfew in California restricts people from going out from 10 P.M. to 5 A.M. Exception is made for people who are walking their dogs, shopping for food, or responding to an emergency.

With that in mind, yesterday, the state reported more than 14,000 new positive COVID-19 cases. This is the highest number of reported new cases since the start of the pandemic. Considering that California is right next to Nevada, the new restrictions may impact the recovery of the casino industry in Las Vegas.

In that line of thoughts, the director of equity gaming research at Truist Securities, Barry Jonas spoke to FOX Business last week and outlined that the “drive-to business” is responsible for the bigger part of the Las Vegas Strip revenues currently. However, according to Jonas, if California increases restrictions, this may pose a “real risk” for the Strip operators.

Will Nevada Introduce Additional COVID Restrictions?

Besides the restrictions in nearby states, the casino industry in Las Vegas may also be impacted by additional restrictions within the state itself. On November 11, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak revealed that tougher COVID-19 restrictions may come into effect in two weeks unless the number of positive COVID-19 cases decreases.

Back then, the Governor stressed that stronger restrictions is the last thing that he wants. Furthermore, the Governor urged Nevadans to follow social distancing rules, wear masks, and stay at home as much as possible.

Last week, in light of the continuous surges of positive COVID-19 cases, Governor Sisolak outlined that his administration is considering “all mitigation options” aiming at reducing the spread of the respiratory disease.

Yesterday the Governor revealed that since the start of the pandemic, approximately 24% of all positive COVID-19 cases in Nevada were identified in November. He urged residents to take this seriously. However, talks about a potential second lockdown are off the table for the moment. One of the main reasons for this is the economic impact. During the first lockdown in March, some $1 billion in revenue was lost for the hotel and casino industry in the Silver State.

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