Vegas Casinos and “Non-Essential Businesses” to Close in Response to Coronavirus Fears

Governor Steve Sisolak has ordered the closure of all “non-essential businesses” in Nevada, including all its casino resorts, in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Two weeks ago, if somebody had bet us a bajillion dollars we’d ever be writing that sentence, we’d have said, “Never!” and shaken on it. Now, not so much with the hand-shaking.

Nevada elbow bump state

Seriously, let’s make this a thing.

The announcement of closing non-essential businesses caps a brutal couple of weeks in Las Vegas, with a number of casinos closing due to plummeting room occupancy on the Las Vegas Strip, including MGM Resorts casinos as well as Wynn and Encore.

Several casinos announced they’d remain open, but their temporary shut-down is assured, and required, now. Specifically, as of midnight on March 17, 2020.

The “shelter-in-place” strategy to control the coronavirus spread directs everyone to stay in their homes, away from others whenever possible.

Here’s more about the shelter-in-place rules.

A wide variety of businesses will be impacted, with “essential services” remaining open, including airports, banks, grocery stores, postal service, hardware stores, hospitals, urgent care facilities, pharmacies, gas stations and others.

Professional offices, including lawyers, doctors, accountants and realtors will remain open with proper social distancing practices.

All retail malls and stores will be closed.

Restaurants will close, and will be take-out and delivery only.

Yes, bars will close. They are defining “non-essential” really, really broadly, in our opinion.

To-date, 55 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Nevada. One person who contracted coronavirus, with underlying medical problems, has died in the state. Testing has been lacking, so expect that number to jump significantly, which is obviously a concern for everyone.

So, for the moment, Nevada is a no-group-gathering zone.

The mind reels at the impact this shut-down will have, on so many levels, in Las Vegas and beyond.

Station Casinos closed

Twenty casinos closed in one fell swoop.

Casino employees have been hit especially hard in recent weeks, with bad news compounding with each passing day.

We acknowledge defeat expressing the opinion these steps seem extreme given the facts we have about this bug. We get it, better safe than sorry.

The order is expected to be in effect for 30 days, starting at noon on March 18, 2020. About 10 other states have instituted orders along these lines.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this drastic measure. Every time a casino closes, even temporarily, an angel loses its wings. There are metric ass-ton of wingless angels in Las Vegas right now.

Update (3/20/20): Here’s an update on what’s “essential.”

Essential services Nevada

Sorry, anal bleaching shops.

29 thoughts on “Vegas Casinos and “Non-Essential Businesses” to Close in Response to Coronavirus Fears

  1. alex

    Old people and:
    1) People with HIV, cancer, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease.
    2) People on medical steroids.
    3) People undergoing chemotherapy.
    4) People recovering from any surgery.
    5) People with COPD or some forms of asthma.
    6) People with high blood pressure (which is about 75 million American adults).
    7) Finally, add anyone that lives with and/or cares for any “old people” or people in the other categories.

    1. franklin

      They were part of the exempt list in the SF Bay Area when they issued the closure order there. Would make sense for them to do it in LV as well.

  2. Bill

    I got a kick out of all the coverage about Tom Brady playing for Tampa Bay this fall.
    As if there’s going to be an NFL season this year.
    Social Distancing… it’s the new normal…until there’s a vaccine.

    1. Jim

      Some people will be forced to actually spend time with their children and not sneak off to the casinos, this can be a good thing!

  3. HornBet

    This is not the time to lay into the writer of this blog, who provides all of us the insider’s look at the town we all enjoy – for free, on his own time.
    We’re all navigating uncharted waters right now, and we’re all trying to deal with a situation that’s rapidly evolving.

    1. Two Sides of the Coin

      Laying into? I didn’t see it as that. If the writer wants to share opinions on his blog when writing about current events, should he not be questioned about those opinions?

      Some would say you can’t have it both ways.

  4. Donald Jr.

    I enjoy how thick-skulled people are here commenting that the SAR-CoV-2 virus isn’t a threat, even as Trump and FNC recently changed their tune.

    Like you can tell when someone with a health condition like diabetes, lupus, etc… and figure out a way to avoid them.

    The medical facilities, long-term care, and emergency responders are about to get megatronned in some major cities.

    Who cares though! I’m going MAGA all way to 2024, by breaking the quarantine guidelines. May my infected ass get in contact with one of your loved ones!

  5. Andrew

    Good morning everyone.

    I’m writing your from Italy,the now considered ground zero for COVID -19 ( former Las Vegas resident here,long time ago and still in love with the city).

    As much as the media are without a doubt pushing this stuff a bit too much,it must not be taken lightly. I live in Sardinia, a island in the middle of the mediterranean sea. We’ve only had 120 cases here and 2 deaths, both of them had previous health problem. With all the deaths we’ve had in italy, (2600 and counting) , only 12…12….twelve people did not have health problems !!!! So,the math is pretty easy here. This stuff is dangerous only if your are old and carrying health problems. My father in law is 86,he’s active,strong and healthy. 2 days ago he could barely speak due to a bad cough, yesterday he was back at chatting with us like nothing has happened. I would assume he probably contracted the virus and got rid of it no blinking. On the opposite, my relatives all living in the north of italy are constantly reporting of in laws getting sick and passing. Again…in laws,it means very old people mostly sick.

    The real virus is what is going to happen next ? What is going on with the economy ? That should be way more scarier than the virus itself. I own a beach resort,it’s a family operated business since 1983. This summer we are considering not to open at all since 90% of our guests come from northern Europe,not Italy. Being higly leveraged and exposed,this is a very stressful situation. We can hold our breaths until spring 2021,but we are going to be favorite targets for buyouts and takeovers. I credit the success of my resort to my years spent in Las Vegas,where I’ve studied and learned a lot from hotels architecture and customer service. And all this now is about to get lost.

    To summarize : stay safe,wash your hands, wear a mask,and that’s it. This may be a good time to evaluate your health and priorities. There’s more hype to this virus than anything else, obviously someone will make a lot of money out of it

    1. Fabian

      You live in a country where doctors have to decide yho will get live saving treatment and who will not. A situation only known from war. But you still don’t understand the real problem. As soon as the medical institutions get overloaded it’s not only about covid-19 but everything that needs fast and intensive treatment. The real issue is to flatten the curve so that the medical institutions don’t collapse and everybody can be treated.
      As a business owner it should be your main concern to get things back to normal as fast as possible. your stupid post achieves the opposite.
      Plus: Using a mask for protection doesn’t help and limits the availabillity for the people who need it.

      1. Geo

        actually in socialized medicine countries they have panels deciding who gets to “live or die” – who gets procedures and who doesn’t. Rationed health care algorithms aren’t all they are cracked up to be…

  6. Anthony c uk

    Just heartbreaking can’t believe it . Only the hope that Vegas will weather this monstrous disaster is keeping me going. I’m coming to the strat in October HOPEFULLY and just maybe the raptors running the casino accounts will loosen the purse strings and ease up on the resort fees etc as a thanks for our loyalty

  7. Funkhouser

    I logged online today and could not believe the generous room offers starting on April 17th.
    I sure hope the Casinos re-open. I’m planning to head back asap the all clear is lifted.

  8. andy

    Why do people come here to read a blog about Vegas if they’re going to bitch about how expensive it is, how ‘the man’ is ripping us off, and how the Author is ‘wrong’.
    If ya don’t like what the Author is saying, don’t read, why waste time with negative comments?
    It’s not gonna be a good few months, so we’ll miss our annual visit (been going every year for 17 years).
    Gives us another year to save up for those sky high resort fees and overpriced drinks……..

    Thanks, Scott, for keeping me entertained.

    1. pansy

      Why do you care so much about what other people do when it affects your reading of the blog none at all?

      What part of your DNA is programmed to obsess about what other people think? Or is it a birth defect?

  9. Roosterface

    Well, say goodbye to resort fees, paid parking and 6/5 Blackjack at least.

    All that shit has gotta go if they want to lure people back.


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