Published on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Nevada shuts down all casinos

After an enforced closure of resorts in Macau last month, the big casino operators are bracing for more financial pain.

Nevada's governor Steve Sisolak ordered all casinos to close for a month.

Bars, movie theaters and gyms will also close and restaurants are permitted only to offer takeout and delivery.

"Today it's clear additional steps must be taken immediately in order to slow the spread of this deadly virus in our state. We absolutely must take this step for every Nevadan's health and safety. Please, please take this seriously,"  Sisolak told reporters.

Some casino operators had already started closing flagship properties on the Las Vegas strip.

MGM Resorts International had already announced the closure of the Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor, New York-New York, and Park MGM.

"It is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression. We will plan to reopen our resorts as soon as safe to do so and we will continue to support our employees, guests, and communities," said MGM CEO Jim Murren on Monday.

Wynn Resorts also unilaterally closed Wynn Las Vegas and  Encore.

Trade group the American Gaming Association has asked the government for financial assistance as the US gaming industry is at a 'near standstill' with enforced closures in Atlantic City and elsewhere across the country.

The casino industry closure will significantly impact the state's coffers as it is its second highest source of tax revenues.

In addition, the leisure and hospital industry employs 25% of all workers in the state.

Nevada has reported more than 50 cases of the virus so far.

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