It has been one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began and now that vaccinations are starting to roll out at a much faster pace than before, it seems there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone around the world has been affected by the virus in some form or fashion. For the casino industry, it has meant closures, re-openings, and new shutdowns, as well as limited operations. In Nevada, 13 casinos still remain closed at this time.
Some operators are waiting until restrictions are lessened before opening or higher tourism levels. Some have closed permanently, with the negative effects of the virus too much to bear. Either way, the pandemic has hit the gaming industry hard, with tens of thousands of people still laid off from work, with no end in sight.
Closed Casinos in Nevada
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has been keeping track of the industry during the pandemic. According to the group, most of the commercial casinos that are still closed down in the United States are located in Nevada.
Boyd Gaming Corporation has two casinos that have been shut down since last year. Main Street Station and Eastside Cannery are not offering services at this time and won’t until the volume of travelers increases in the region.
Operators with multiple properties in the state chose to open the facilities that they thought would see the most business. Some casinos stayed closed for a few months or even through today as they would not have enough traffic to operate without a loss.
For Red Rock Resorts, the company has three casinos that are closed in the Silver State. Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho, and Fiesta Henderson are not operational and there is no indication that they will be any time soon.
There are other casinos in the state that remain closed and still others that have shut down permanently. The Lakeside Inn and Casino decided soon after the pandemic started to close for good. It even hosted an auction a few weeks ago to sell items from inside the venue.
Harrah’s Reno is also shut down. It was in service for 83 years but fell victim to the pandemic and is no longer in operation.
Waiting on Seniors to Return
Many of the casinos that remain closed in Nevada are known for catering to the older crowd. The coronavirus is a major health hazard for the elderly, so the older population is staying at home instead of getting out and about.
With a lack of senior visitors, the closed casinos have no demographic to cater to. Seniors stopped leaving the house once it was made known that the elderly have a higher risk of developing complications from the virus including death.
The hope is that once the vaccinations are completed, seniors will feel more at ease in visiting the casinos and tourism levels will increase.
Vaccinations are ramping up, but it still may be a few weeks or even months before we see a solid percentage of adults given the shot in the United States.