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US – With capacity limits slashed to 25 per cent, more Las Vegas casinos opt for midweek closures

By - 23 November 2020

With casinos across the United States beginning a second round of COVID-closures, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has confirmed new measures for Las Vegas’ casinos with capacity falling from 50 per cent to 20 per cent.

Masks must now be worn at all times when around people not part of their immediate household, whether indoors or outdoors.

Governor Sisolak, who has himself just tested positive for the virus, said the new measures were part of a ‘statewide pause’ rather than a shutdown. The restrictions will last at least three weeks.

Governor Sisolak said: “COVID is filling up our hospital beds and that threatens all Nevadans,” Sisolak said. “If hospital beds continue filling at this rate and staffing shortages continue to increase as they are now, that means all Nevadans will have limited access to the care they may need. This is a three-week pause, and we’re hopeful that the community will support the businesses through other methods, be that delivery or takeout, but the capacity will be 25 per cent,” Sisolak said. “It’s up to them to decide if they want to open at 25 percent.”

“Our casinos, hotels, restaurants, and bars are open with strict restrictions so that we can protect our economy,” he said. “Meanwhile, the majority of our school buildings across our state are closed and our kids are suffering as a result. Our education system and our economy are not mutually exclusive — they are tied together.”

Two more Las Vegas Strip casinos have confirmed they reduce amenities during the middle of the week due to low visitation levels.

MGM Resorts will close the hotel operations at Mandalay Bay and The Mirage on Mondays to Thursdays, starting on November 30.

MGM said: “We are constantly evaluating occupancy levels and adjusting operations accordingly. While we do not currently expect the mid-week hotel closures to remain past December, we will continue evaluating business levels to determine how long they are in effect.”

MGM had already limited the operations at Park MGM to just weekends. Las Vegas Sands has closed the Palazzo from Monday through Thursday with Wynn Resorts doing similarly at Encore. Caesars plans to reopen the Rio resort, the last of its casinos to reopen in late December, but again only for weekend occupancy.

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