In a move that was expected sooner rather than later, all Las Vegas casinos will be shut down for 30 days in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Nevada governor Steve Sisolak made the announcement on Tuesday night, and all casinos were expected to close and shut their doors by Wednesday at noon.
All bars and restaurants in the state of Nevada were also forced to close, as well as any other non-essential business that operates within the state.
The closing of all casinos and hotels could devastate the economy in Nevada as the state relies heavily on the gaming industry. Hotels would have a period of time to remove all guests before shutting their doors, but casinos were ordered to empty and close immediately.
Governor Sisolak made the announcement in an effort to save lives within the state as well as protect other states when guests return home. Even though the announcement said that all casinos would be closed for 30 days, it could be a longer period of time before they are open for business again.
Already Shutting Down
Before the announcement on Tuesday night, some casino companies had already made the difficult decision to close their doors for an extended period of time. MGM Resorts International was one of the first major companies to plan for the shutdown.
They began making plans for layoffs as early as last Friday and shut down all of their properties in Las Vegas on Sunday. MGM Resorts was also forced to close locations in four other states across the country, but those initial closures came from state and local governments.
The company announced that all full- and part-time employees would be guaranteed pay for at least two weeks before a decision was made going forward.
Las Vegas Sands Corporation might not be the biggest name in Las Vegas, but they do own a pair of the most iconic venues. Sands Corporation announced on Sunday that they were closing The Venetian, Palazzo, and Sands Expo and Convention Center.
They also promised to pay their employees for the next two weeks, with another announcement expected to be made.
Prior to the announcement by Governor Sisolak, Wynn Resorts Ltd. announced that they were also closing all of their Las Vegas properties, but they offered more protection to their employees. They guaranteed their employees payroll coverage for a minimum of 30 days, and they shut down a property in Massachusetts as well.
Penn National Gaming has been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus, and their closures began taking place much earlier in other parts of the country. Penn National owns Cactus Petes, The M Resort, and Tropicana Las Vegas in the state of Nevada.
They currently employ over 3,200 people at those three properties, and they are planning on covering all salaries and benefits for their companies throughout the closure. There is a good chance that most other casino companies will do the same thing as the state and federal government plan for a bailout to help the industry stay afloat during these tough times.