Casinos remain closed throughout the state of Nevada, and the lights on the Las Vegas strip remain off. The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently sent out a memo to casinos on a plan to reopen, but also stated that there is no set time for this to happen. That decision ultimately is up to Governor Steve Sisolak, and it appears that he is not even close to allowing that to happen.
The memo sent out to casinos was six pages long and outlined a set of procedures that would need to be followed when they were allowed to reopen. Not only did the Nevada Gaming Control Board discuss opening casinos in sections, but it also talked about what should be done with furloughed or fired employees.
The casino industry in Nevada has some very strict and serious rules and regulations in place for both employees and executives, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board is going to loosen these restrictions upon reopening. Casinos can register former employees that lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, and they can get back to work immediately.
Normally, this registration process takes several weeks to complete, but the Nevada Gaming Control Board is willing to let these employees get back to work. Employees that are returning to work will be eligible to work for up to 30 days while they work to renew their licenses. A license is needed for everyone that works in the casinos in Nevada and throughout the country.
There are 18 points included in this memo highlighting several different topics, but they essentially serve as a list of requirements for casinos that are wanting to reopen. Each casino can come up with their own reopening plan, but these plans must be submitted to the Nevada Gaming Control Board at least seven days in advance of reopening the doors.
That’s Not All
The Nevada Gaming Control Board also noted that these 18 points were not a complete list, and casinos will need to come up with plans that meet the needs of their business. It is expected that some casinos will open up portions of their casino floor to follow social distancing guidelines. Buffet style restaurants that are often found in casinos will likely need to be closed for a longer period than slot machines.
Casinos will also have their cash on hand requirements waived for the first week after the mandated closures are lifted. This will give each location a chance to establish some profit and get everything up and running before following the normal guidelines and protocols.
Almost all of the casinos in Las Vegas shut their doors before they were forced by the governor, and most of them have continued to pay their employees through the closure. The first closure was announced on March 17 and was supposed to last 30 days. That has now been extended through April and will likely continue into May.
Governor Sisolak spoke to reporters on Wednesday and stated that the state was still not in a position to reopen the casino industry. Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman has taken an opposite stance on the issue, and she has urged the governor to let casinos open up their doors.
Goodman went as far as stating that Vegas should be a test subject for the rest of the country. By allowing the casino industry to open back up, Las Vegas could provide data to health officials about the results of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects. Governor Sisolak is worried that tourists will flock to the city and will cause a huge spike in confirmed cases.