Nevada has ordered the shutdown of all casinos facilities within the state. The ban was effected on March 18 in an effort to prevent further spread of coronavirus.
Gov. Steve Sisolak called a conference where he made harsh announcements for casinos. The shutdown will last 30 days and affect all gambling operators and ‘nonessential businesses’, including bars and restaurants.
However, pharmacies, banks, gas stations and grocery stores will be allowed to remain open. State offices and schools were already closed earlier.
Sisolak said that all gaming operations must stop starting midnight on Tuesday, March 18.
Asked whether non-casino gaming machines might be allowed to continue operating, he said:
“Stop looking for a loophole. Every gaming device across the state must cease operations by midnight Tuesday.”
The state of Nevada will reconsider its current decision after the initial 30 days to decide on the possible continuation of the shutdown.
Sisolak believes that his reactions are appropriate and informed due to the fact the treatment for COVID-19 hasn’t been found yet.
For now, the takes advantage of 450, 000 casino-related jobs while tourism accounts for arounf 40% of the Nevada’s general fund. The governor added:
“If your business brings groups of people together, it should not be open. This is not the time for casinos to remain open.”
Leading Nevada operators including MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands have already closed their venues.
Elsewhere, Caesars Entertainment and Station Casinos decided to keep their doors open, while introducing social distancing requirements and carrying out regular cleaning of all slot machines.
According to the official data, there are 109 COVID -19 cases in Nevada and the first death happened last Monday.
Following the precautionary measures, local media were required to keep a 6ft distance between cameras. Some states, like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, will have the chance to capitalize on losses with online gambling games.
Most casinos have already asked for a federal bailout from the state, to assist in overcoming the challenges with coronavirus. One such example is the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) which requested for $18 billion to support communities in dealing with the losses from its main source of revenues.