The coronavirus, which has wreaked havoc on the sports world, is now also shutting down the casinos and sports betting world. With all of the major sports leagues on hiatus due to the virus, Las Vegas casinos and sportsbooks have now also decided to do the same.
The Vegas Casinos Shutdown…
The pandemic has triggered huge shutdowns within the casino industry. In fact, Wynn Resorts announced it would close its Wynn Las Vegas and Encore properties starting 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The company announced the closures of Wynn Las Vegas and Encore after Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered that all K-12 public schools in the Clark County School District close.
MGM Resorts International said that it would also shutter all Las Vegas casino operations today and that their hotels would follow Tuesday.
After two weeks, the company will evaluate and reassess the situation, according to a release sent to investors. Some employees will stay at the properties to maintain facilities and security, but otherwise, look for things to be really different at your favorite LV visiting grounds, at least for the near future. Especially as MGM will not be taking reservations for new arrivals prior to May 1.
For those of you unfamiliar with just how much of the Vegas strip MGM runs, check out this tweet by Arash Markazi.
A statement from MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren said the temporary closures are for “the good of our employees, guests and communities.”
“It is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression,” Murren said. “We will plan to reopen our resorts as soon as it (is) safe to do so and we will continue to support our employees, guests, and communities in every way that we can during this period of closure.”
Illinois Casinos As Well…
Vegas is not the only location affected. State officials in Illinois on Friday ordered casinos to suspend gambling operations for 14 days beginning today. This comes as a huge blow, as Illinois literally had just launched sports betting for the first time just four days before Friday’s announcement. The sad part, for me at least, is that I was actually supposed to go there tonight for an outing! Better safe than sorry, though. I’m good with social distancing to help flatten the curve!
The Illinois Gaming Board agrees, as they said “The public health of patrons, casino employees, IGB staff and others is of paramount importance,” in a release Friday.
On a side note, gamblers, if you are wondering what there is even left to wager on, Jeff Sherman, the head oddsmaker of the Las Vegas Superbook, tweeted the following today.
Basically, the slate entails Russian hockey, Aussie football and some International soccer games. And, who knows how much longer even those sporting events will go on for, considering the UFC just finally also postponed a couple of upcoming events.
At the end of the day, I, like all of you, am wondering the same things. When will sports return? When will casinos and sportsbooks re-open? Will the rest of the Vegas strip follow the Wynn and MGM? Will the rest of the country? Your guess is as good as mine.
I will say that the start NFL free agency today was fun. FA least gave us that feeling of sports being back again, something we’ve all been sorely missing since the NBA was cancelled last week. Let’s hope this is all just a temporary pause on life, which gets us to appreciate our sports even more. As if that was even possible…