Nevada Casino Industry Closure Continues In Line With Federal Guidance

Casinos in Nevada will have to stay closed longer than the initial 30 days period, as Governor Steve Sisolak issued Wednesday a Stay at Home order and essentially extended throughout April all of the state’s emergency actions to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus /Covid-19/, including activating the National Guard.

Virus Situation Requires Measures Extension

As part of the non-essential businesses and to prevent gatherings of large groups of people, casinos were initially ordered to shut down operations March 17, for a period of 30 days, but now gaming facilities would have to remain closed as the governor sees that as a necessary step towards protecting public health.

The new order issued by the office of the Governor is in line with the guidance provided from the federal government, that decided to extend the social distancing effort until April 30, at least, and is a clear sign that the massive disruptions to businesses and public life due to the virus pandemic is far from over.

“Today’s ‘Stay at Home’ directive strengthens the imperative that Nevadans must not leave their homes for nonessential activities in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This directive builds on previous directives around school closures, social distancing, closure of non-essential businesses, and bans on public gatherings of 10 or more people by requiring you stay home unless leaving is absolutely necessary.”

Steve Sisolak, Nevada Governor

The statewide directive to people in Nevada is ordering them to stay at home, except for essential trips such as healthcare visits, buying groceries, going to a pharmacy or picking up restaurant takeout food. The directive allows people to leave homes for exercise as long as they stay at least 6 feet from each other. Homeless people are excluded from the order. Unlike similar directives issued in other states, the directive in Nevada does not have penalty provisions, as it merely reinforces and strengthens.

Casino Industry In Limbo

The extended closure period would definitely have huge impact on the casino industry in the state. Judging by the reaction of casino operators to similar extensions in other states, affected employees will most likely be placed on furlough and hundreds of family lives will be disrupted. Casino operators do not have much choice, since if they continue to pay wages to their workers they will burn millions of cash per day and would not last long.

Hopefully, the already approved by the federal government economic stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security /CARES/ Act, to the amount of $2 trillion, would help gaming businesses to offset some of the covid-19 impact and navigate through the current crisis.

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