As the days progress, more states are beginning to slowly open back up. Unfortunately, the US land-based casino industry remains completely shut down. This week, officials offered an update on Washington’s casino plans and discussed when these gambling venues may open to the public.
It’s an extremely complicated situation. Casinos are ideal places for a virus to spread. Now is the perfect time to discuss what measures casino companies in Washington plan on taking to get things back to normal.
Let’s get into it!
The US Casino Industry Remains Shut Down
The past few months have been some of the toughest that US casino companies have ever endured. All casinos in the country have been shut down for weeks. Revenue has stopped flowing in and a huge number of casino employees have lost their jobs.
This has become a more serious issue in some parts of the country. Places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, for example, are known to rely heavily on their casinos. The regulations set in place are already taking a massive toll on these cities.
Some states are slowly beginning to lift their restrictions. In some ways, this approach is an experiment for the rest of the country. Several top health experts are expressing fear that reopening the economy in these states will result in a spike of new Covid-19 cases.
Unfortunately, even the states with the most relaxed approach towards this virus are unsure about how to reopen casinos. Not long ago, Nevada’s Gaming Control Board released a set of guidelines that casinos can take to open again. Most feel it will be at least a month before the casinos in Las Vegas allows guests in.
Washington is known for having a successful casino industry. Tribal leaders in the state have been looking at ways to reopen casinos for weeks. Here’s what’s being discussed right now.
Tribal Governments Offer an Update on Washington’s Casino Plans
When most people think of the US casino industry, states like Washington don’t come to mind. That’s not entirely surprising. In reality, though, the state’s casinos generate more than $2 billion in revenue every year.
Closing down casinos here has been devastating for many local economies. Tens of thousands of Washington residents work inside casinos. According to a report by the Washington Indian Gaming Association, Tribal governments here are the 8th largest employer in the entire state.
Tribal leaders are now giving an update on Washington’s casino plans. Ron Allen, chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and a member of the Washington Indian Gaming Association, spoke about the impact that closing down casinos is having.
“We are definitely in survival mode,” he said. “Some tribes would like to open up now, but we don’t want to be the source that causes anyone to get sick from the virus. It is a calculated risk, when to open up, but we can’t wait for zero, there won’t be any economy left.”
Many tribes have been forced to lay off thousands of workers. None have set official dates to reopen yet. Most agree that it’s impossible to do so until the virus spread is under control. Even then, these casinos are going to look different than they used to for some time.
Fortunately, infection rates have been relatively low in Washington in recent weeks. With more widespread testing, things may begin to improve here quicker than some analysts predict.
Las Vegas Casinos Continue Looking at Ways to Reopen
Washington is clearly taking a hit due to the shutdown of the state’s gambling industry. The economic losses here pale in comparison to what’s happening over in Nevada, though. Las Vegas casinos are completely shut down and revenue here is now at a record low.
The gambling and entertainment industry here employs hundreds of thousands of people. As time goes on, the impact of the casino shutdown gets more severe. Several major casino companies here are losing millions of dollars every single day.
Some hoped that things would begin to reopen by May. That includes Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who continues to call for the city to reopen. Casino companies are now focused on finding ways to safely allow guests back in.
A few of the major casino-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip are accepting reservations as early as June. It seems these companies feel they’ll find safe reopening solutions by then. A recent report stated that the MGM’s New York New York and Bellagio venues may be the first to open their doors.
The update on Washington’s casino plans is similar to what many state leaders are saying. Unless everyone knows things will be completely safe, these casinos will remain closed.
When do you expect the US casino industry to get back on track? What do you think casinos will look like once they reopen? Let us know in the comments section below.