The entire Nevada gaming industry was shut down overnight as Governor Steve Sisolak issued an unprecedented order for all non-essential businesses in the state to close.
The order means that all 440 casinos in Nevada, including those in Las Vegas, have now closed their doors as part of a month-long measure aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. Aside from gambling operations, the closure order covers bars, movie theaters, gyms and other non-essential services. Restaurants are also required to close but will be allowed to offer takeaway and delivery.
“This is effecting the lives of our citizens,” Sisolak said at a press conference on Tuesday night in Nevada. “People are dying. Every day that is delayed here, I’m losing a dozen people on the back end that are going to die as a result of this.”
The state-wide shutdown comes after the “Big 4” Las Vegas operators had already announced the closure of their casinos. Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International both revealed over the weekend that they were shuttering their doors for at least two weeks, with Las Vegas Sands and Caesars Entertainment Corp following suit on Tuesday.
According to Associated Press, this is the first time the casinos of Las Vegas have closed since the funeral of President John F Kennedy following his assassination in 1963. It is also the first time casinos have been closed state-wide.
Nevada is one of 13 US states to have now ordered shut downs, while at least some casinos have been closed in almost 40 states.
As of Thursday morning (Wednesday afternoon US time), there were more than 7,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States with over 110 deaths.