Casinos in Nevada last closed doors back in November 1963, for the funeral of President John F. Kennedy. This is about to change starting at midnight Tuesday, March 17, after the number of coronavirus cases in the state has surged and the social distancing approach to curbing the pandemic seems to be the only available tool.
Casinos Ordered To Close
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a statewide order that required all non-essential businesses such as bars, movies, theaters and gyms close doors for one month by noon time Wednesday, and all casinos and gaming facilities across the state close doors by midnight Tuesday. All restaurants and bars within casinos were also included for the imposed restrictions that will be enforced by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
“This is only common sense; if your business brings groups of people together, it should not be open. In a time where people are getting sick from simply being near others, this is not the time for gyms to remain open, this is not the time for casinos to remain open, this is not a time for community recreation centers, clubhouses, movie theaters and malls to remain open.”Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak
Social Distancing Effort
The decision to shut down non-essential businesses and any other places that facilitate the gathering of people, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus infection, took place after similar measures within 12 other states were implemented, and the official number of Covid-19 cases in Nevada reached 56, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. In Pennsylvania, even without specific orders towards casinos, 6 out of the 12 land-based facilities have already closed doors for 14 days.
The order did not come as a surprise to the casino industry as most of the operators were in consultations with workers unions and health specialists, showing their concern first and foremost for their employees and clients.
The Nevada Resort Association announced it will continue to cooperate with the governor, the Gaming Control Board and state and local public health agencies.
MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts have already announced plans to close doors, with the former beginning to cut losses with significant furloughs and layoffs, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Grand Sierra Resort announced it will close doors, the company will bear the costs for the health benefits of its workers and will provide 2,000 meals to assist them and the community.
Eldorado Resorts will suspend operations at the Eldorado Resort Casino, Silver Legacy, Circus Circus Reno, MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa Lake Tahoe and the Tropicana Laughlin Hotel and Casino.
Caesars Entertainment will shut down its properties not just in Nevada but all of North America and will assist all employees affected by the closures.
The Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and the Peppermill Resort Hotel have not come up with an official statement so far.