The gaming industry in Nevada has been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and now the Nevada Gaming Commission is losing one of their most important assets. Tony Alamo announced on Tuesday that he is resigning from his position as Nevada Gaming Commission Chair so that he can focus all of his efforts into trying to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Alamo’s resignation is set to take effect on April 17.
Even though this leaves the Nevada Gaming Commission without their leader during these tough times, Alamo is stepping down less than two weeks from when his time was supposed to come to an end. Alamo has maintained for months that he would not be seeking reappointment when his third term came to an end. His term was set to end on April 27, but Alamo felt that he needed to step down before that to help out.
Alamo has been the commissioner of the Nevada Gaming Commission since 2008. The 55-year-old is also a physician and the director of the Alamo Medical Clinic in Henderson, Nev. In his letter to Governor Steve Sisolak, Alamo pointed out that his time and efforts would be better served in leading the Medical Clinic and trying to help the state navigate through these tough times.
Alamo made almost $55,000 in his base salary from the state as chair of the Nevada Gaming Commission. He also received more than $8,000 in benefits.
His resignation now leaves the five-person committee with just four members. Steven Cohen, John Moran, Deborah Feutsch, and Rosa Solis-Rainey are the four remaining members. Governor Steve Sisolak will have to appoint a new chair of the committee as well as choose another member to serve.
Nevada Coronavirus Pandemic Update
Governor Sisolak continues to give live updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including the number of positive tests and deaths. These remarks are live-streamed online as well as posted to the Governor’s YouTube channel. There have been 81 deaths so far due to the coronavirus, and there are currently 329 patients in the hospital battling the disease.
One new update that Sisolak provided in his remarks on Wednesday was his urging of golf courses to shut down. The state is currently in a shelter-in-place order, which has closed all nonessential businesses. March 5 marked the first positive test of the COVID-19 strain in Las Vegas, and the shelter in place order has been in effect for close to a month as well.
Governor Sisolak ordered on March 17 that all casinos and hotels be shut down throughout the state. Those closures were initially supposed to last through the end of the month, but that has now been extended through April.
Governor Sisolak has urged that there is a chance the order will be extended as the state is still 10-14 days away from the peak of the virus. The state has created a task force aimed at delivering medical supplies to hospitals throughout the state, and that task force has received over $10 million in donations since the middle of March.
City and state leaders are worried about the financial impact of the coronavirus, especially with the Las Vegas strip being shut down. There are thousands of workers that are currently unemployed due to the shutdowns, and casinos and hotels are looking for relief from the federal government.
Most large casino companies have agreed to pay their workers through the closure, but smaller properties could be in trouble. The city of Las Vegas also lost the 2020 NFL Draft after the league decided to cancel draft events in the wake of the disease.