Coronavirus Will Force Major Changes To Las Vegas Strip

The state of Nevada is under a strict stay-at-home order to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and it has shut down the Las Vegas strip. The city of Las Vegas is one of the top tourist attractions in the United States, but the streets are empty due to the order given by Governor Steve Sisolak. Experts predict that the Las Vegas strip will be one of the first parts of the state to open back up, but those same experts predict some major changes to the area.

Even though the casinos and hotels are expected to reopen soon in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas strip, as it once was, might not ever be able to recover. There are several major players in the reopening of the Las Vegas strip, and almost all of them have different ideas of how it will look like. The entire city of Las Vegas has suffered tremendous financial loss in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and all of the major players will be anxious to make that money back as quickly as possible.

President Donald Trump has been issuing guidelines when it comes to reopening businesses and the economy, and it appears that casinos will be among the first companies to open up. Phase I of the federal guidelines will likely allow casinos to open their doors to patrons, but phase II and III might not come for some time.

Although Nevada casinos can have their doors open, certain amenities will not be allowed to open up until the other phases are introduced. Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs will likely remain closed for several more weeks, which will keep the casinos from making their full potential of revenue.

Even though federal guidelines allow for the reopening of casinos in phase one of the plan, many experts predict that Las Vegas won’t be a part of this plan. Remote locations or tribal casinos will likely be authorized to resume operations much quicker than the major casino properties that are found on the Las Vegas strip. There will also be a limit on the number of players that are available at each gaming table, which will slow the recovery process in Las Vegas.

No Buffet

Another top feature of casinos in Las Vegas are their buffet-style dining options, but those buffets will likely remain closed for quite some time. Casinos will have to find some other way to feed their guests, which will force them to pay more workers than normal. Poker rooms are also likely to remain closed, while the use of electronic gaming machines is expected to be allowed.

Major casino industries in Las Vegas are also in battles with several different unions in terms of pay during the shutdown. Culinary Local 226 is making several requests of casino operators in the state, especially when it comes to more sick days and no punishment for taking off work while experiencing symptoms.

Most of the major casinos in Las Vegas have agreed to pay the majority of their workers through the shutdown, but they are all hoping that the mandate ends quickly.

There have been 3,626 total confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state of Nevada as of Saturday afternoon, as 151 people have died as a result of the disease. Clark County, where the city of Las Vegas is located, has seen 133 total deaths and 2,882 total cases. Despite the climbing number of cases and deaths, a large group of protestors is demanding that Governor Sisolak lift the stay-at-home order and open up businesses.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.