Casinos Continue to Reopen Across the US Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

As of the first of June, several casinos had reopened their doors and began welcoming guests once again across the United States. In mid-March, casinos began closing suddenly and quickly as the nation became overwhelmed by the number of COVID-19 cases. Closures took place as an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Now, states are starting to relax shutdown orders and reopen businesses, including casinos.

Update on Openings

The American Gaming Association has around 1,000 casinos listed in operation within the United States. As of right now, 321 are open. A total of 668 are closed. Of the 50 states, 23 have at least one casino in operation. This is quite a lot considering only around 40 states actually have casinos within their borders.

Over the weekend, casinos began opening in areas that had been basically shutdown entirely. The northeastern section of the nation has been hit hard with the virus, particularly New York State. Casinos in this area are expected to open slower than others. However, there is one venue in New York that did reopen recently, the Lakeside Entertainment property.

On the 1st, both Connecticut and Delaware saw casinos reopen. In Delaware, casinos are open at only 30% capacity. However, they are opening as part of the first phase within the state’s plan, which is different compared to other states like New Jersey where casinos are part of the last section of the reopening plan.

In Connecticut, the Mohegan Sun and the Foxwoods Casino reopened without the blessing of the governor. The governor wanted the casinos to open back up at a later date, but the tribal operators have the right to make their own decisions as a sovereign entity.

What’s to Come?

Over the next week, there are casinos that are set to open. The Casino del Sol in Arizona is actually supposed to reopen today while casinos in Nevada will be ready tomorrow. In Alabama, the casinos open tomorrow as well but are only available to those who have an invite.

On the 5th, casinos in West Virginia will open along with four Desert Diamond properties in Arizona. In Nevada, Harrah’s Las Vegas is waiting until this day to get started.

It is unclear as to how the nation has been affected by the reopening of businesses as well as how casinos will be impacted with COVID-19. It an take up to 14 days for the virus to show symptoms so it could be several weeks before we see if the reopening process was okay to do and not that many people are affected or if it was possibly too early to get back to work and another outbreak hits.

We shall see in the coming weeks how casinos are affected, if players are going to be visiting and if cases of COVID-19 will increase. Only time will tell as to what the outcome will be.

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Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.