As confirmed by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday, Nevada casinos are to reopen June 4 if everything goes according to plan. The only condition is that the number of COVID-19 cases does not go up dramatically during Memorial Day weekend.
Sisolak will hold a news conference next week to confirm the decision to reopen Nevada casinos. The Governor is waiting for the stamp of approval from the health officials. If approved, the casinos in Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada will be able to go back to business after nearly three months.
Nevada Casinos to Reopen After Nearly Three Months
Sisolak ordered casinos to lock their doors to customers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on March 17. Since then, Las Vegas has turned into a real ghost town.
Apart from the eerie atmosphere of one of the most vibrant cities in the country, the COVID-19 lockdown caused many other problems. Its impact on the local economy is measured in billions of dollars.
According to a study by AmericanGaming.org, the pandemic has cost the casino industry more than $43 billion dollars, with over 650,000 employees ending up jobless during the lockdown.
Social Distancing Measures in Las Vegas Casinos
Casino owners and employees alike are eager to get back to the job, hoping the gambling business in Nevada will come back to life on June 4. The business will be far from normal, however. At least in the beginning.
Nevada’s plan for casinos reopening implies that the casinos will have to take some serious measures in order to be allowed to go back to work. For instance, casino personnel might be required to do temperature checks on the visitors before letting them in.
Furthermore, all casinos will have to reduce the number of visitors to achieve social distancing. For that, they will have to reduce the number of seats in table games.
As a result, roulette tables that used to have 15+ seats will now have fewer than ten. Craps tables will have about five-six seats. Baccarat tables? No more than four. Blackjack? Three seats.
Nevada Gamblers Curious About Online Casinos
In mid-March, Google Trends recorded a huge increase in search volume for terms like “online casino.”
Casino-related searches in Nevada peaked around March 17, which is when Gov. Sisolak ordered the closure of Nevada casinos. A day before, the White House had asked Americans to stay home for a period of two weeks to prevent the spread of the novel virus.
Google shows that Nevada residents have been interested in internet gambling during the lockdown. However, despite their interest, they haven’t been able to actually play any real-money casino games on the internet. At least not without breaking the state laws on gambling.
The thing is that Nevada does not belong to the category of states where online casinos are legal. At the moment, there are only three states where internet gambling is possible – New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.