Nevada Casinos Fear Second Shutdown as State Closes Small Ops

The situation in Nevada is not improving, and some of the big operators fear that they would have to shut down their operations for the second time as the COVID-19 disease is more present than ever. In fact, there was a reported increase in infections in the state.

Governor of Nevada Steve Sisolak ordered all small gaming operations to shut down due to the spike in COVID-19. This includes all bars, pubs, and other small gaming operators that have the so-called “restricted” gaming license, meaning they host some electronic machines, but are not full-scale casinos.

Sisolak issued the Declaration of Emergency Directive 027 on Friday night that instructed all small operators to cease their operations due to “an Elevated Disease Transmission.” This only applies to Clark County, but it’s the most important county in Nevada, as Las Vegas is located there. These operators will remain closed until further notice.

All gaming venues in Nevada were closed mid-March due to the growing concern of the coronavirus. The shutdown lasted for a couple of months, and places started reopening as of June 4. Sisolak ordered that all operators must take mandatory health and safety precautions.

He even ordered that all casino customers need to wear a mandatory face mask to enter the gaming floor. Despite all that, the number of cases in Nevada started going up, and the record was set on Thursday when the number of cases was 1,004 in a single day.

Nevada Casino Operators Are Afraid

Casino operators in Nevada have good reason to be afraid that they’ll be pressured into another shutdown due to the increase of coronavirus cases. On the bright side, online casinos fared better than small gaming operators in Nevada as they made sure that safety procedures are in order and were checked more regularly for their health measures.

However, in some other states, casinos had to close their doors once again, as the infections soared inside them. There aren’t any official comments regarding Nevada operators and why they are still allowed to operate despite infections increasing in the state.

Sisolak issued his order on the same day when Caesars Entertainment made an announcement that their property Bally’s Las Vegas is about to reopen after the shutdown. According to Caesars’ officials, the company has been successful in keeping the spread of the virus under control, and they want to take a chance and expand the operations.

According to Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars, the company has the potential to attract “solid customer interest in visiting Las Vegas” during the summer. His idea is to open more of Caesars properties with caps in place than to lift caps that are currently in place regarding hotel occupancy and online casinos.

It’s still unclear whether Sisolak plans to shut down more casinos or not, and the operators will continue to be afraid of a second shutdown, should that happens.

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