The land-based casinos of Las Vegas have lost a lot of customers over the years, as online gambling operators have gained traction. Even so, Sin City remains one of the few bright spots, due to the high number of tourists coming to town for gambling and entertainment. The coronavirus pandemic brought the industry to its knees in a few weeks and Las Vegas casinos are still reeling from its effect. Now that the city looks like a ghost town and most businesses are closed, gambling operators are feeling the pressure. They are hoping that casinos will open this summer, but the odds for that to happen are slim.
Gambling is no longer a priority
Las Vegas casinos are glamorous, huge, and can accommodate many people. Under normal circumstances, these are all great things to have, but today this is a major problem, given the COVID-19 pandemic. The government tells people to stay at home and respect social distancing rules, so casinos are some of the worst places to be. For the time being, the authorities are ordering all nonessential businesses to remain close and they have no intention whatsoever to open casinos in the foreseeable future.
The biggest concern for Las Vegas operators isn’t necessarily the government’s action regarding their businesses. State and federal officials will eventually seek to reopen casinos, as they represent a significant source of income. Furthermore, there are plenty of people who rely upon the jobs created by the land-based gambling industry in Sin City. Unfortunately, even if the authorities allow casinos to reopen, they will have a hard time attracting players from the US and beyond borders.
The tourism industry is on life support and because of the numerous travel restrictions, people can no longer fly to Las Vegas. One popular Japanese casino had to cancel all poker tournament trips. Not even Americans who reside in neighboring states are interested in visiting these glamorous casinos, because of the COVID-19 threats. Locals represent an insignificant percentage of the people gambling, so the casinos can’t rely on them to keep the business afloat. The bottom line is that there are no reasons to open early, even if the authorities would allow them to do so.
The pressure is mounting nationwide
The US economy was hit hard by the pandemic and millions of people have lost their jobs over the last couple of weeks. Things are going to get worse before they get any better and there is mounting pressure to reopen businesses and restart the economy. The authorities are trying to find a way to do so without jeopardizing any of the progress made so far. There are plenty of industries that are regarded as essential for extremely important for the economy, but sadly, the Las Vegas gambling industry isn’t on the list.
Gambling giants are pressuring the Nevada state authorities to reopen the casino and the lobby in Washington is equally intense. Their voices used to be heard loudly, but because of the magnitude of the problem, they are now relegated to inaudible whispers. There are simply bigger fish to fry and Las Vegas casinos no longer represent a priority for the government or the people.