Gov. Steve Sisolak may allow Nevada’s casinos to reopen on June 4, a long as the number of COVID-19 cases doesn’t spike over Memorial Day weekend. The governor plans to hold a news conference on Tuesday after he talks to health officials and the Nevada Gaming Control Board, who will determine whether casinos can reopen.
Ahead of the holiday weekend, I wanted to announce to all Nevadans that I will be holding a press conference on Tuesday, May 26, to discuss the next phase in Nevada’s reopening plan. As long as our data stays consistent, I expect to announce a Phase 2 date for reopening. pic.twitter.com/PzOW3nezWr— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) May 22, 2020
Sisolak closed all nonessential businesses including casinos on March 17. Right now, Nevada is in phase one of reopening, with dine-in restaurants, including some within casinos, permitted to reopen with restrictions. If coronavirus cases continue to decline and hospital capacity to treat new cases continues to remain available, he may move into the next phase of reopening the state for business. In the past, he’s said that casinos may reopen in phase three or four of his plan. But Sisolak appears to be fast-tracking casino reopenings into phase two of the state reopening for business.
Should casinos get the go-ahead to reopen, many have already said which properties will open. MGM Resorts plans to open the Bellagio and New York-New York, as well as one other resort. A limited number of restaurants within those resorts could reopen as well.
Caesars Entertainment says Caesars Palace and the Flamingo Las Vegas will open first, as well as some of the restaurants, stores, and the High Roller observation wheel at the Linq Promenade. Restaurants, hotel rooms, and access to outdoor pools, as well as gaming, including table games and slots will reopen at those resorts, but buffets, spas, live entertainment, bars, and valet parking will not resume immediately. Harrah’s Las Vegas and the gaming floor at Linq would be the next properties in Las Vegas to reopen, with timing based on customer demand.
Wynn Las Vegas already said it was hopeful that casinos could reopen by Memorial Day. The resort announced that five restaurants — Allegro, Jardin, Lakeside, Mizumi, and SW Steakhouse — will reopen for dine-in service on June 1.
The Venetian and Palazzo sent out an email to customers donating a free night for essential workers for every night booked. Previously, the resort planned a June 1 reopening.
Station Casinos already announced that Red Rock Casino in Summerlin, Green Valley Ranch and Sunset Station in Henderson, Santa Fe Station in Centennial, Boulder Station on the eastside, and Palace Station west of the Strip, as well as six Wildfire properties, will open first. The company says it will assess when Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Texas Station, and the Palms will reopen. On May 26, eight of its restaurants open inside casinos for dine-in and takeout service, with two more reopening on May 29.
Boyd Gaming’s Las Vegas properties — including the Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Aliante Casino, Eastside Cannery, Cannery, and Sam’s Town — will probably open first. The California Hotel, Main Street Station, and the Fremont Hotel might remain closed longer along the Fremont Street Experience, with their reliance on tourism, especially from the Hawaiian market, which may be slow to return. The Cal especially draws tourists from Hawai’i, gearing its marketing as a Ninth Island destination with dining and events created for Hawaiian crowds.
Sahara and Golden Entertainment — which owns the Strat, Arizona Charlie’s Decatur and Arizona Charlie’s Boulder in Las Vegas and the company’s PT’s Taverns, including PT’s Pub, PT’s Gold, PT’s Ranch, PT’s Brewing Co., Sean Patrick’s, Sierra Gold and SG Bar — issued their health and safety guidelines.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board issued its guidelines in early May for casinos to resume gaming operations once Gov. Steve Sisolak lifts his order for all nonessential businesses to close. Nightclubs and dayclub pool parties at a casino must remain closed, although pools can reopen with seating arranged with social distancing in mind. Restaurants and bars in casinos also will need to rearrange seating with social distancing protocols.
In most cases, the board recommends following safety guidelines “issued by federal, state, and local governing authorities with respect to the operation of hotels, restaurants, retail establishments, and pools.”
Casinos can only open at 50 percent capacity and will need to limit the number of people allowed inside. The board also recommends frequent hand washing by staff, cleaning and social distancing at table games and slot machines, hand sanitizer available to visitors, and training on COVID-19 safety and disinfection protocols in English and Spanish for staff.
Casinos will need to submit their reopening plans to the board for approval seven days in advance in order to reopen.