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Casinos Close Nationwide Amid Coronavirus Panic

MGM And Wynn Resorts Announce Closures Of Las Vegas Strip Properties


Major casino companies are shutting down operations throughout the United States in response to the spread of coronavirus.

Over the weekend, operators in several states announced they would be closing properties. Closing times ranged between one week and indefinitely with many of these announcements taking place shortly after the CDC recommended canceling gatherings with 50 people or more for the next eight weeks.

Sunday brought the most notable announcement when nearly half of the Las Vegas Strip was closed. MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts announced that it would be closing its properties located on the Strip starting Tuesday and will keep its doors closed for at least two weeks.

MGM Resorts owns Bellagio, Aria, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, New York-New-York and Park MGM, while Wynn owns Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. Several Caesars properties announced the closure of its respective poker rooms, but have not shut down the entire casino yet.

Another major gambling hotbed saw many casinos close its doors as several Southern California casinos and cardrooms have ceased operating. Los Angeles’ Commerce Casino, Gardens Casino, Hollywood Park Casino and Hustler Casino have announced two-week closures. San Manuel Casino and Pechanga Resort Casino announced that its doors would be closed through the end of the month.

On the other coast, Massachusetts announced that all three casinos would be closed for two weeks starting on Sunday. Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino all shut its doors.

“In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the decision was made in collaboration and cooperation with our licensees to safeguard the health and well-being of casino guests, employees and regulators,” the state’s gaming regulators said in a statement.

The gaming commission in Indiana and Maryland forced its state’s casinos to close. Maryland’s are closed indefinitely, while Indiana is forcing a two-week closure.

In response to a banning of large gatherings by its governor, all casinos and racinos in Ohio have shut down, and all 10 casinos in Illinois have stopped its operations.

Rhode Island’s two casinos are closed for one-week and Empire City Casino in New York will be closed until March 28.

The state sandwiched between Rhode Island and New York, Connecticut, will be reducing operations without a complete shutdown. Foxwoods is closing all non-electronic gaming. No games will be offered that involve interaction with chips, cards or other people. It has also suspended bus transportation to and from the casino.

Pennsylvania saw five casinos announce closures over the weekend. Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Valley Forge Casino, Parx Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia and Wind Creek Bethlehem are all closed for two weeks.

In Michigan, Gun Lake Casino will be closed from March 16-30, while other tribal casinos remain open. The state’s three commercial casinos in Detroit will remain open but have closed buffets and are taking extra steps to comply with its Governor’s ban on all gatherings with 250 or more. There will be increased cleaning of chips, addition of hand sanitizer stations and regular wiping down of slot machines.

All of Florida’s casinos and cardrooms are still currently open for business, but its poker rooms have made cuts to promotions and most of the tournaments have been canceled.

In Nevada, while nearly every poker room has shut down, the Venetian and the Orleans are still running games. To comply with new regulations from the gaming commission, Venetian’s poker games will have a three-player max, while the Orleans won’t allow any more than five players at a table.

This seems like just the beginning of the closures as more states begin to take more drastic measures to help contain the virus.

Tags: poker,   casinos,   coronavirus