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At least one more month of closure misery for Nevada casinos

When will Nevada’s glittering casino archipelago reopen in its entirety? That is to say, when can you waltz into Caesar’s Palace without a mask and expect the place to be packed to the rafters?

We don’t know exactly when that glorious day will arrive but, according to Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, corona virus inspired capacity limitations and restaurant restrictions will continue until at least the middle of January, 2021. Under the current restrictions, Nevada casinos (and restaurants and bars and gyms…) are only allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity. That means everyone in the casino has plenty of elbow room, but missing out on 75 percent of their total capacity is absolutely devastating for Nevada casino operators.

Sisolak acknowledges that the restrictions are choking the life out of Nevada businesses big and small, but is optimistic about the future (if they can hang on). In a statement reported on by US News and World Report the Governor said, “With the combination of the extension, the protocols that are still in place and the vaccines that are coming, we’re hopeful we’ll be in a better place by the time this would expire.”

Nevada, with its massive casino industry has been uniquely devastated by the corona virus and its accompanying economic meltdown.Casinos that were once shuttered entirely were eventually allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, but that moment proved too good to be true. Just a few weeks after the 50 percent capacity opening, a spike in corona virus infections led Governor Sisolak to cut capacity to 25 percent, where it’s remained ever since.

The Governor expressed hope that the arrival of a corona virus vaccine would bring “normal” back to the casinos of Nevada.