Land-based casinos in Nevada will have a little more freedom starting February 15, as Governor Steve Sisolak made an announcement that they can expand their operating capacity from 25% to 35%. This slight improvement was the result of the overall number of falling Covid-related cases in the country.
Sisolak made it quite clear in the announcement that they had to follow “science and studies.” According to them, closures of many settings were the main way to slow down the spread of the disease, and that is why many casinos had to work at reduced capacity. Sisolak added that they were hopeful that the number of cases would continue dropping in the future but that they had to remain flexible and adapt to every new situation.
The number of daily Covid-related cases in the Silver State has dropped from December’s daily average of 2,709 to the 14-day average of 650 cases per day in the last two-week period.
If all goes well and the pandemic continues to decrease, businesses will have more freedom to operate. In fact, it is expected that casinos will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity by March 15. If everyone plays by the rules and contributes to reducing the Covid-19 transmission in the state, Nevada will give control to local jurisdictions by April 15. However, that is two months away, so there is still plenty of time to see where things will go from here.
Still, Carolyn Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas, welcomed that possibility with arms wide open. Goodman became popular after arguing that casinos in Las Vegas should reopen as soon as possible. Therefore, if she gets the power to control casinos’ operations, she will definitely allow more freedom than Gov. Steve Sisolak.
Casinos’ Operations to Be Reduced for a Long Time?
Casinos are non-essential businesses, and casino floors are pretty fertile grounds for Covid-19 transmissions. Therefore, they will have to adhere to many health and safety protocols for a very long period of time. In fact, they might have to operate at a limited capacity much longer than many other establishments. According to Gov. Steve Sisolak, the Nevada Gaming Control Board will have the last word when it comes to reducing operating capacity. The Board and the Gaming Commission are the two organizations that have huge authority overall properties with a license in Nevada.
Finally, Sisolak added that the goal of his plan was to avoid the scenario where all casinos would have to be closed once again. However, he added that he believed the plan could work if everybody invested in “making it successful.”
On the other hand, casino executives hope that another shutdown will not be necessary for the future. Moreover, many are hopeful about removing the limits on their operations and returning back to normal.
Still, there are a lot of things to do, and one of them is vaccinating people and creating herd immunity to stop the virus transmission and, ultimately, save the lives of people around the globe.
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