Nevada has been hit hard by the coronavirus, both in terms of health and economically. Casinos throughout the state have been shut down since the middle of March, and it’s pushed the state into a financial crisis.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and major executives in the casino industry have urged Governor Steve Sisolak to allow casinos to reopen, and it appears they are finally getting their wish. Sisolak announced on Friday night that he is setting a target date of June 4 for when casinos throughout the state can reopen.
This is Memorial Day weekend in the United States, and Las Vegas is always a popular destination for tourists and gamblers. The economy has been hurt by the coronavirus over the last two months, but the industry will feel an extra sting this weekend.
Casinos have started to reopen in other states in the US, but Sisolak felt that there was a need to keep them closed in Nevada. Sisolak knows that once he allows the casinos and sportsbooks to reopen, tourists from all over the country are going to flock to Las Vegas.
Sisolak made this announcement of June 4 as the targeted date as a part of a Facebook post on Friday afternoon. In the post, Sisolak acknowledged that the Nevada Gaming Control Board will meet on Tuesday, and they will discuss the necessary steps to reopen the casinos. Even though Sisolak has set a target date of June 4, there is always a chance that this could change after the meeting on Tuesday.
Sisolak has maintained all along that the final decision was up to him, but now it appears that the Nevada Gaming Control Board will make the ultimate decision. Most experts and insiders believe that they will allow casinos to reopen on June 4 in an effort to bail out the struggling economy.
Unemployment levels in the state of Nevada have skyrocketed, reaching over 28 percent this week. That is one of the highest marks in the country, and it is largely due to the casino and entertainment industry being shut down.
Nevada, mainly Las Vegas, posted its worst monthly revenue figures in more than 20 years for April, and the numbers could be even worse in June. Las Vegas needs “The Strip” to be open to save what’s left of their economy.
Taking The First Step
Casinos have already been told that they must submit reopening plans to the Nevada Gaming Control Board at least a week ahead of when they plan to open. Many of the larger casinos in the state have already done so, and they have also sent these plans to Governor Sisolak.
Even though casinos could be given the green light to open on June 4, it is expected to be a slow rollout. Caesars and MGM Resorts have 18 different casinos between the two companies, but each has already announced that they plan on opening just two at the beginning. Implementing new health and safety measures comes at a high cost, and these companies want to make sure that they get it right.
Operators that serve casinos in Las Vegas have also been urging the city to reopen, and now they will have one of their biggest clients back. Operators have been forced to lay off a number of their employees as well, but several companies have been bringing customers back of late.
Tribal casinos in Arizona and southern California have already reopened several casinos, which could take away some business from Las Vegas. Lack of flying and fear of travel will also keep some people away, but the industry will receive a major boom when casinos open their doors.