Las Vegas Casinos Keeping an Eye on the Coronavirus

The coronavirus has been affecting the world for the past few weeks, as more cases of the condition are coming to light. In the gambling world, Macau has been greatly affected by the virus outbreak and officials in Las Vegas continue to monitor the situation. A case in California has recently been announced, with the patient having the coronavirus but not traveled internationally or been exposed to someone who traveled. The virus seems to now be in the US and could affect the casino industry among many other areas of the nation.

Macau Impact

In Macau, the region is a gambling mecca for mainland China. As the coronavirus began in Asia, the gambling city quickly became affected and just recently completed a two week shutdown of casinos in the region. After the break, most of the casinos are back in operation but with strict guidelines in place. Players must stay seated away from each other, with one empty chair in-between them at the table games. This also applies to slot gaming.

Players must also be tested for a temperature upon entering the casino and wear a mask. Such precautions are being taken because casino gaming is done in close proximity with other people and if anyone was affected with the coronavirus, it could easily spread to many others.

In Las Vegas, the gambling town is easily comparable to Macau. Players have plenty of casinos to visit and each stays busy with 100s if not 1000s of guests on a daily basis. The coronavirus could quickly spread within the casinos, so operators are closely monitoring the situation.

Inevitable to Spread in the US

Federal health officials in the US have stated that the spread of the Coronavirus to the US is inevitable. According to Global Data analysis Nick Wyatt, the travel and tourism industry will not come to a complete stop due to the virus, but it is realistic that there will be decisions to be made in the future and there will be a ‘need to navigate choppy waters for some time to come’.

According to Wyatt, the warnings provided by the Centers for Disease Control shows that the virus can no longer the considered as an issue for just China or Asia. It is now has a more global reach. Wyatt stated that the constant coverage of the coronavirus is impacting the confidence of travelers. When players become more hesitant to travel, it can create a significant impact on the industry.

The Nevada Resorts Association is currently in contact with public health officials and continue to monitor the situation. They are staying abreast on the latest information as well as guidance and protocols involved in this type of situation.

Health directives will be implemented by the gaming venue as issued. Precautions have already been taken by the casinos as hand sanitizers have been placed in public areas as well as in areas for employees.

Really, only time will tell how Las Vegas as well as other gambling areas across the United States will be affected by the coronavirus. We are in the early stages of the virus in the US and it is still unclear just how quickly or how far the disease will spread. Taking precautions is key to avoiding the virus and US residents may decide to forgo vacation plans or weekend trips to top destinations like Sin City to avoid contamination.


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.