Mississippi is home to one of the largest casino industries in the United States. For more than a month, however, all of the casinos in this state have been shut down. This week, Governor Tate Reeves offered an update on Mississippi’s casino plans.
It appears we may be just a few weeks away from seeing all of this state’s casinos open back up. That’s great news for gambling fans and the owners of these properties. Here’s what we know about this situation.
Casino Revenue in Mississippi Fell Quickly in March
Back in January, the first cases of COVID-19 began appearing in the United States. As the weeks went on, this new coronavirus began spreading throughout the country. Many states began shutting down all non-essential businesses as a way to prevent major surges in infections.
On March 16th, officials in Mississippi decided to take the same route. Governor Reeves announced that all casinos in the state were being forced to shut down. This was an unprecedented move, as these casinos employ thousands and help to bring valuable revenue to many parts of the state.
Reports just recently surfaced that show how much money was really lost here. According to the Mississippi Gaming Commission, casino revenue here fell by 50% last month. These gambling venues earned just $67 million in the few weeks they were open. In March of 2019, casinos in the state brought in $124 million.
Of course, these venues likely earned almost no money in April. Casinos here were shut down for the entire month. How exactly that will affect the state economy is unknown.
Many have called for the casinos in Mississippi to open back up. That includes several major casino companies, some of which are losing millions of dollars every week due to the regulations. Fortunately for these companies, casinos in the state may open back up within the next few weeks.
Governor Reeves Offers an Update on Mississippi’s Casino Plans
Several states around the country are now beginning to open back up. That includes Georgia, which is appearing to see a spike in COVID-19 cases. Interestingly, more states are now making preparations to open up different businesses.
Casinos are some of the toughest venues to reopen to the public. Generally speaking, these venues feature a large number of individuals packed into a relatively small area. They are perfect places for a virus to spread. As a result, many casino owners are making changes to ensure these venues are as safe as possible.
This week, Governor Tate Reeves claimed that casinos will likely be open by Memorial Day. He seems to agree with casino owners that it’s time to reopen the state economy.
John Ferrucci, general manager at Silver Slipper in Hancock County, was one of the first casino officials to hear about the update on Mississippi’s casino plans. He revealed some of the preparations his casino is making to ensure public safety.
“We’re excited about it and I’m glad the word is getting out today,” he said. “We’re not going to have table games probably the first weekend.”
All casinos in the state will be forced to make changes. It’s almost guaranteed that masks will be required by guests and dealers. Many also expect tables to limit the number of players. Hopefully, these venues are able to bring the state money once they finally reopen.
Las Vegas Casinos Will Remain Closed for Weeks
Over the past month, we’ve reported on the Las Vegas casino closures. The decision to close casinos here has been a major source of controversy, as the city relies heavily on its gambling industry. It’s still unclear when these gambling venues will be allowed to reopen.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has publicly ridiculed the current restrictions. She called them “total insanity.” When pressed by Anderson Cooper about how to safely reopen Las Vegas, however, she did not seem to have a clear answer.
Earlier this week, Governor Steve Sisolak decided to extend the state’s stay-at-home measures. He believes Nevada is not quite past the peak of infections. It appears he also feels it’s too early to allow visitors to gamble inside casinos.
Many casinos in this state are already preparing to open back to the public. Recently, news surfaced that MGM’s Bellagio and New York New York properties are likely to be the first to reopen. There is still no clear answer on when exactly this will take place, though.
It’s a very interesting time for the entire US casino industry. With the update on Mississippi’s casino plans, it looks like this state may be the first to reopen gaming venues. Officials in Las Vegas will be looking very closely at how this ends up working out.
Are you surprised to hear that Mississippi is opening casinos again? When do you think Las Vegas will begin to reopen? Let us know in the comments section below.