California, like many other states around the country, is seeing a significant rise in its number of positive Covid-19 cases. As a result, lawmakers have decided to move back on the state’s reopening plans and many businesses have been ordered to close. This week, the California Gaming Association spoke with the media and asked for Governor Newsom to close all California casinos.
It’s not entirely surprising when you look at the numbers here. It will not be easy for Governor Newsom to order Native American-run casinos to shut down. Today, we’re going to look at how California’s gambling industry may change over the next few weeks.
Let’s get into it!
Rates of Covid-19 Continue to Increase in California
For a time, California seemed to be doing fantastic in the fight against the new coronavirus. The state locked down early and cases remained low for months. Restrictions have been lifting in recent weeks, however, and cases of Covid-19 are now starting to surge here.
It’s an incredibly difficult situation. Many businesses around the state are taking a major hit due to the regulations. Now that the state is moving back in its reopening, there is a serious concern that a huge number of small businesses may go under.
There’s no doubt that infections are increasing here. More than 335,000 cases have been confirmed here and the death toll has surpassed 7,000. Things are still not as bad as they are in Florida, where health experts say the epicenter of the pandemic now is.
Covid-19 infection rates in Nevada are jumping quickly, as well. As a result, lawmakers here are taking a close look at the current set of regulations. It’s clear that tourism rates in Las Vegas are still down considerably.
Yesterday, the Las Vegas Palazzo announced that it was no longer accepting reservations on weekdays due to a drop in customer demand. There’s no way of knowing when tourism rates will begin to get back to normal here. Some feel it could be years.
Is California’s casino industry about to shut down again?
California Casinos May Soon Be Asked to Close Down Again
Obviously, California is working hard to lower its infection rates. Several new intense measures have been ordered in Los Angeles and San Diego. There is now a discussion about whether or not casinos here should be allowed to remain open.
One major group certainly doesn’t think so. Several members of the California Gaming Association recently spoke with the media about this situation. They are now asking Governor Newsom to order California casinos to temporarily shut down.
Thunder Valley Casino, located in Lincoln, has been taking some serious heat over a lack of safety measures set in place. Many employees have been complaining that the casino doesn’t care about their safety. Several of these casino workers now believe these venues need to be closed, as well.
“I think we should be sitting back and waiting, especially when the numbers are increasing again,” one employee said.
“I know they [California casinos] are on sovereign land, but does that law supersede public health,” another told the media.
Kyle Kirkland, President of the California Gaming Association, recently sent a letter to Gavin Newsom, asking him to close down casinos. He agrees that doing so would help to lower infection rates in the state.
This idea won’t sit well with tribal leaders in the state.
More States Are Taking a Closer Look at Their Casino Industries
Over the past month, many states have begun to reopen their casino industries. Casino companies around the country have been complaining that the regulations are making it impossible for them to survive. Today, casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City are now back up and running.
As we already mentioned, tourism rates in these cities are much lower than they were at the start of 2020. Gambling revenue is also expected to be significantly lower. As Covid-19 infection rates increase around the country, some feel that lawmakers may be forced to close some of these gambling venues.
That’s currently being considered with California casinos. Exactly how Governor Newsom could close these venues, which sit on sovereign land, to close is unknown. The CGA certainly seems to feel it’s possible.
Several major casino companies recently saw their share prices increase. This was due to China’s announcement that it was lifting restrictions to and from Macau. This will likely help the casinos in Macau to start generating more revenue.
This is a tough time for the land-based casino industry. We may see some big changes take place over the next six months.
Do you expect California casinos to shut down? Could this happen in other parts of the country? Let us know in the comments section below!