Nevada Governor Mulls Over Closing Las Vegas’ Casinos

Steve SisolakThe Governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak is once again contemplating closing Nevada’s casinos following an escalating number of positive coronavirus cases in the state. Las Vegas casinos have yet to recover from the closures in spring and have been operating under severe restrictions until now. While an announcement has not yet been made on the fate of the casinos on the strip, the signs do not look promising.

Closure and Restrictions Are Under Advisement

Speaking on Wednesday, the Democrat Governor of Nevada, Sisolak commented he was walking a tightrope, trying to protect the economy coupled with peoples’ health. While a decision has not yet been taken, Sisolak is believed to be considering an array of options to implement in Nevada’s casinos, and they range from new health-based restrictions to fully closing casinos across the state.

The governor is believed to be waiting until next week, in a bid to see more detailed statistics and reports concerning the escalating number of infections in Nevada. With days to go before Thanksgiving (a traditionally big time in Vegas’ casinos), Sisolak has already urged Nevadans to stay at home throughout the holiday, in a directive known as “Stay at Home 2.0” and reported on by USAcasinos last week.

Nevada Does Not Stand Alone

Nevada is unquestionably not the only state to consider closing casinos. In Illinois, commercial casinos have been ordered to close from Friday onwards. The state has not announced a date for when they may re-open. Meanwhile, Michigan’s tribal and commercial casino venues were also told to close this week, with New Mexico following suit on Monday.

Philadelphia has followed Colorado and other states by ordering some casinos to begin closing, while states such as Massachusetts have reduced operating hours in a bid to keep the lights on at their casinos. Nevada’s biggest rivals, those casinos in Atlantic City are currently open for business, although their restaurants are out of commission between 9pm and 5am.

Speaking from Experience Could be the Key

Sisolak’s decision may also come down to his own personal experience of the virus. The governor tested positive for the COVID-19 virus last weekend and is currently quarantined inside his home in Carson City. Just yesterday, Nevada reported another 1,665 cases of the virus, taking the tally to over 125,000 in all. While no specific requirements to close have yet been issued, many worried casino owners and gamblers fear that it is just a matter of time before those instructions come through.