SINNERS have lined up to test their luck after surviving COVID-19 and the Floyd riots as casinos open in Vegas for the first time in 78 days with dealers wearing face masks and players trying to social distance at tables, Your Content has learned.
After 78 days of shutdown, eager gamblers were seen rushing to get back to business in casinos transformed by new health and safety measures to combat the spread of the virus.
Some casinos have also constructed glass partitions between slot machines and gamblers at tables to keep them apart.
Hotel-casinos in suburban Sin City were the first to open at 12:01 a.m., but larger locations such as Caesar’s and Bellagio open later Thursday morning.
As Your Content readers know, the strip reopened overnight after a near 3 month coronavirus closure.
Wynn Resorts, the Venetian and Palazzo are slated to open Thursday morning, along with the landmark STRAT casino and tower, Derek Stevens’ downtown properties and others around Las Vegas owned by Boyd Gaming and Red Rock Resorts.
Many of the guests pictured appeared unconcerned with the threat that the coronavirus could still pose, however, and crowded together without masks to get inside.
The reopenings come as Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, continues to have the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the state.
According to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, there are 8,935 cases of coronavirus in the state and there have been 429 deaths.
The hospitalizations rate in the county has also continued to decline over the past four days, as has the infection rate, according to The Las Vegas Review Journal.
There are big hopes for recovery as casinos are allowed to reopen across Nevada from an unprecedented and expensive shutdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s a tremendous amount on the line, not only for casinos, but for the community and the state,” said Alan Feldman, a longtime casino executive now a fellow at the International Gaming Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“This is an extremely important moment.”
Property owners, state regulators and Sisolak, a Democrat who has been criticized for the closure, are balancing health concerns against the loss of billions of dollars a month in gambling revenue and unemployment that topped 28 percent during an idled April.
“I’m optimistic that customers will see that gaming properties invested time and effort to welcome them back to a safe and entertaining environment,” state Gaming Control Board chief Sandra Douglass Morgan said Wednesday.
“This is going to be a pretty long, slow climb,” said Feldman, who was with MGM Resorts when Las Vegas experienced an abrupt air travel stop after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and later a crippling plunge in business during the Great Recession over a decade ago.
“I’m hopeful it is a consistent climb, without setbacks.”
The first to arrive are expected to be area residents, then motorists from nearby U.S. states followed by air travelers.
“The market still relies heavily on air traffic, and the longer stays in Vegas are usually tied to mass social gatherings, including conventions, concerts and fights, all of which may take longer to recover,” UBS analyst Robin Farley said.
“It may be a little different,” MGM Resorts International chief executive Bill Hornbuckle said during a recent walk-through of the Bellagio casino floor. “But I think it will be memorable, personable and special.”
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