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Covid-19 forces Nevada casinos to shut down


Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has ordered casinos in the state to temporarily cease operations as part of a wider effort to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

The order came into effect at midnight last night, with all casinos across the state required to shut down gaming devices, machines, tables, games and any other kit related to gaming activity by 11:59pm on March 17.

The restrictions will remain in place for at least 30 days and will be enforced by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

In conjunction with the Office of the Governor and local and state health officials, the Board will continue to monitor the spread of coronavirus and issue further notices during the 30-day period.

The order applies to all non-essential businesses in Nevada, with only facilities such as pharmacies, grocery stores, drug and convenience stores, banks and financial institutions, hardware stores, and gas stations permitted to open.

“This is only common sense; if your business brings groups of people together, it should not be open,” Governor Sisolak said

“In a time where people are getting sick from simply being near others, this is not the time for gyms to remain open, this is not the time for casinos to remain open, this is not a time for community recreation centers, clubhouses, movie theaters and malls to remain open.

“My ultimate goal here is to come together as Nevadans to save lives. That requires aggressive strategies aimed at mitigating community spread. Medical professionals have made it abundantly clear that there is currently no treatment.”

Sisolak said that while a vaccine was being developed, it was important to act “aggressively and decisively” for people to protect themselves, their families and their community.

“While a vaccine is being developed, we don’t have time to waste. At this time, we must act aggressively and decisively to protect ourselves, our families, and our community.”

In January of this year, land-based casino gaming revenue in Nevada amounted to $1.04bn, an increase of 5.5% on a year-on-year basis. Slots revenue totalled $672.5m for the month, while table games revenue reached $365.7m.

Sports wagering revenue in Nevada also climbed 36.0% year-on-year to $20.2m in January.

The pandemic has led a growing number of US states shutting down their land-based casinos, with the likes of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Massachusetts among those to do so. In Nevada, MGM Resorts had already voluntarily shut its venues, effective yesterday (March 17).