LAS VEGAS (CBSLA) – Talks are underway on how casinos in Las Vegas will operate in the COVID-19 era once they open up as early as next month.
The normally bustling Las Vegas Boulevard, a hotspot for Southern Californians, is all but abandoned amid the coronavirus shutdowns.
Of course, Vegas is driven by tourism. On Wednesday, the city’s mayor expressed outrage at the shutdown, meant to slow the spread of the virus.
“This shutdown has become one of total insanity in my opinion,” said Mayor Carolyn Goodman. “For there is no backup of data as to why we are shut down from the start. It makes no sense.”
Executives with Caesars Entertainment Corp., MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd., and Las Vegas Sands Corp. are mulling several measures that would be in place when they reopen with as little as a third of their rooms available, according to Bloomberg.
Casino entrances would be limited, guests would have their temperatures checked using noninvasive methods, and employees – including dealers – would wear masks and gloves under the plan.
Gamblers’ chairs would be placed at least one chair apart at blackjack tables, the report stated.
Executives are also considering implementing facilities near casinos so that all employees and possibly tourists can undergo COVID-19 testing.
Reopening the city, which relies on activities that entail large gatherings, may prove difficult.
“In some ways it’s easier to close than to re-open because you have to do an awful lot of thinking about what services you’re going to be able to provide to make it a compelling experience for guests,” said Gary Selesner, Caesars Palace president.
The city, the largest gambling market in the U.S., was shut down after Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all casinos statewide to close for 30 days in mid-March to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The order was later extended to April 30.