Las Vegas casinos are back to business after more than two months. On March 17, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered the shut-down of all non-essential businesses in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, all of the nearly 140 Las Vegas casinos ended up closed to visitors for nearly three months.
The 2020 Las Vegas lockdown was the only time the entire Strip was shut down since the assassination of JFK. Even in 2017, when the Las Vegas shooting happened, not all casinos and resorts on the Strip decided to shut down.
Las Vegas Casinos Reopen to Public on Thursday
For nearly three months, Las Vegas was a real ghost town. In mid-March, all of Sin City’s casinos closed down, together with bars, restaurants, and even strip clubs. There was one strip club that tried to stay in the business during the lockdown, advertising “coronavirus-free” dancers, but it too had to shut down eventually.
‘Sorry, we’re clothed’: Las Vegas Strip, strip clubs dark amid coronavirus pandemic
The fully nude jiggle joint had tried to stay afloat by advertising “coronavirus-free” dancers, nude hand sanitizer wrestling and drive-thru strip shows — but to no avail.#vegasshutdown pic.twitter.com/F8LWrKw4jf
— 28 Days Later (@VGKnightinArmor) April 19, 2020
The days of lockdown are finally over in Las Vegas, with casinos starting to reopen as of Thursday, June 4. Business, however, is not as usual. At least, not for the moment being. In order to be allowed to reopen, Las Vegas casinos are required to make some changes.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board has issued a plan for casino reopening that every venue needs to adhere to in order to be allowed to operate. Some of the requirements stipulated by this plan include a reduced number of visitors, increased frequency of cleaning, and so on.
Some Casinos Seem to Be Ignoring Social-Distancing Guidelines
Casinos, as well as players, were super-eager to get back to reopen the casino doors. Once that happened on Thursday, the enthusiasm caused people to break some social-distancing rules.
— Mick Akers (@mickakers) June 4, 2020
The footage from all over Las Vegas shows that people have been ignoring the new anti-coronavirus rules inside the casinos. Visitors seem to be gathering around in large groups, sitting next to each other while playing slots and other casino games.
The good news, however, is that all the evidence is pointing out that the casino staff has been at top of the game.
Sin City Hopeful of Recuperating from the Crisis
Everyone in Las Vegas seems to be thrilled by the news of casinos reopening. The reason is that the local economy is very reliant on the casino industry. According to the Nevada Resort Association, “no other state depends on tourism at the magnitude as Nevada.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the state, and in particular its biggest city Las Vegas, billions of dollars in damage. So far, it’s estimated that Nevada has lost over $2 billion, with the potential economic damages measured in tens of billions of dollars.
The worst has passed, but now it’s time for the state to get back on its feet. Las Vegas casinos are open once again, but the number of tourists is still very low. The good news is that as the COVID-19 measures are loosening up, the number of visitors is expected to go upwards dramatically.