Las Vegas Strip is considered the heart of American gambling and one of the most well-known places in the world. In light of the spread of the Coronavirus, Covid-19, 14 casinos on the Las Vegas Strip has decided to close the doors staring today, Tuesday 17 March.
Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International announced during the weekend that their casinos would close to ensure the safety of the staff and the guests.
MGM Resorts International closed until further notice
Jim Murren, CEO of MGM, said that the decision was made after the Coronavirus spread faster and the situation worsened in the US last week.
Initially, MGM Resorts stated that they would continue to offer to gamble to their guests and only limit the access to the shows, restaurants, etc. but even if they tried to source additional services the full closure was inevitable:
“Despite our obligation to continue to offer gambling and entertainment in combination with additional cleaning resources and other health promoting activites, it is now totally clear that this is a matter of public health that need severe and resolute measures to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.” /Jim Murren
No one knows what happens next
MGM Resorts, being MGM, Bellagio, Aria, The Mirage, Luxor and Mandaley Bay is planned to open as soon as it “is safe”. No specific time frame or date has been set. It has not yet been communicated what will happen with all employees during the time these monster hotels are being closed. Unions in Las Vegas is trying to get the full picture of how many employees that are affected of the decision.
Wynn said in a statement that they were to close Wynn Las Vegas and Encore for two weeks. After that they would reassess the situation. They have also stated that employees shall keep their salary during the first two weeks of closure.
It is not yet clear if Caesars Entertainment will keep their casinos open. The only of the major Strip casinos that have stated that they will stay open is the Venetian. But given the very fast development of the Corona pandemic, everything can change only within a matter of days.
An upswing in online gambling?
Experts think that the shutdown of the Strip will lead to increased online gambling after many states have regulated online casinos and sportsbooks following the removal of the PASPA Act in 2018.
Hopefully, we will see a quick and efficient solution to the Coronavirus where we can return to the Las Vegas Strip soon, and have some Corona Beers instead of Coronavirus.