Vegas casinos set to reopen with social distancing measures

Published on : Saturday, May 30, 2020

Casinos across Vegas have decided to arrange for a grand opening around the beginning of June after the properties closed, back during the month of March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Steve Sisolak recently announced that all casinos in Nevada can consider June 4 as a tentative date to reopen the properties. The decision comes after 78 days of quarantine and the increasing pressure caused by the high unemployment rates. Casinos in other states in Vegas have already opened their doors to customers.

According to reports, Nevada saw a 41% decrease in jobs associated with the food and hospitality business as compared to the same time last year. For the month of April, the state’s unemployment rate reached 28.2% which is considered to be the worst impact among the entire country. Unemployment benefits of more than $1.6 billion were paid off in the past two months. The action was inevitable due to the staggering financial blow faced by the state as a result of the crisis. However, despite the reopening, the situation in Vegas casinos will be much different than earlier times. Each casino has been asked to submit a plan highlighting their individual ways of enforcing social distancing and increased sanitation policies, seven days before reopening.

All resorts have been ordered to operate at 50% of their capacity under the new rules. All casinos will have to limit the number of players at one table. All blackjack seats will be cut down to three from the standard six and only four players will be allowed to play poker and roulette at a time. Slot machines will mostly remain unavailable or kept apart. Casinos have also been asked to disinfect all soft and hard surfaces according to CDC guidelines. Hotels and restaurants will mostly urge guests to use smartphone options to read menus and avail touchless room check-ins. Larger resorts will provide free masks to all guests but usage has not to be declared mandatory so far.

Signage asking visitors to wash hands, maintain distance, and limit elevator rides to four people has also been allotted to various places around the state. It would be mandatory for every individual to wear a face-covering inside casinos. Temperature screening of visitors before entering a casino will also be carried out. Irrespective of the measures, all casinos have not been given permission to reopen so soon. Companies have planned to organise a gradual reopening process beginning with a handful. Caesars Entertainment is reopening the Flamingo and the Caesars Palace. MGM International has decided to start with New York and the Bellagio. Meanwhile, the Sands Corp will open hotels from June 1 and start reopening with Venetian. On the other hand, Boyd Gaming Corp. is yet to decide the number of casinos they will reopen amongst their 12 in Nevada.

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