When talk of the coronavirus first came out late last year, people in the US were not very concerned. The people of China were affected but it didn’t really seem something to be worried about. Fast forward a few months and now the virus is spreading throughout the nation at a rapid rate. So much so that schools have closed, businesses are being shut down and people are being asked to remain in their homes. Just this week, Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada has issued a decree that will see all the casinos of the state remain closed for a 30-day time frame.
Statewide Closure of Non-Essential Businesses
The lights are off in Las Vegas as over 400 casinos are shut down for business. Casinos were to close last night while hotels, restaurants and other operations of the venues were to close by noon today. The venues will remain closed for a 30 day time frame in order to hopefully stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Before the announcement of the closure, several major gaming operators decided to go ahead and shutdown. This would include MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts. Wynn announced over the weekend that they were closing their Encore and Wynn Las Vegas properties for 14 days. However, that time has been extended due to the governor’s decree.
Other properties were trying to stay open and had upped their cleaning efforts in the hopes of staving off the virus. However, cleaning and sanitizing is not doing the trick. The closure will help to promote more social distancing so that people are not coming in to contact with each other on the gaming floor.
Caesars Offering Payment
After the announcement was made regarding the closure of all casinos in Nevada, Caesars Entertainment sent a letter to employees stating that they would be shutting down and plan on paying employees during the closure. Those who are full, part and regularly scheduled employees will be paid and benefit eligibility will not be affected for up to two weeks.
The Las Vegas Sands also issued a statement, in regard to their Venetian and Palazzo properties. They will be paying their team members too and revealed that there will be no layoffs or furloughs at this point. Health care eligibility will also not be impacted.
Other operators plan on paying their employees as well during the closure including The Cosmopolitan, Penn National Gaming and Station Casinos. The companies are willing to pay their employees but there will still be many more who are negatively affected and will be struggling to make ends meet while gambling businesses are closed.
As the casinos are shutdown, the governor of Nevada is encouraging residents to stay home. With social distancing, the virus has less of an opportunity to spread. The governor asked his citizens on what they are willing to do to save their own life and the lives of others. Governor Sisolak said: “Please, stay home for Nevada.”
The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 is a group that represents over 60,000 workers in the hospitality industry of the state who came out in support of the decision. They feel that health and safety are a top priority as this global crisis takes place.
So for now, gamblers in Nevada will have to wait the 30-day time frame to see if the casinos will be up and running. It may be even longer before gaming is allowed based on how the coronavirus spreads.