Last week, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced that further restrictions would be placed on public establishments in the state, dropping occupancy rates to 25%.
The move came after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer asked casinos in Detroit to shut for 3 weeks to curb the COVID-19 spread in the city.
However, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman fought back vehemently, much to the praise of the people.
Will Vegas Come Grinding to a Halt?
Many people are misunderstanding Gov Sisolak’s new restrictions, believing that it’s a total shutdown of all public spaces.
However, they simply request that public establishments cut their max capacity down to 25% from the 50% it was at since the reopening of the state’s casinos back in June.
That means restaurants, casinos, hotels, bars, libraries, movie theaters etc can all still open and operate, just at a further reduced capacity.
Unfortunately, there’s no furlough scheme in place, meaning stay will either have to go without earning money, or businesses will have to take a huge hit and pay their full wage compliment while receiving less business.
Business owners and workers are rallying around Goodman, fearing for their jobs and livelihoods.
If Goodman continues to see levels of support grow for her campaign, we could see widespread strikes across Sin City.
That could mean casinos totally shutting down due to the strikes, and if these establishments close, the government makes no money in taxes and would be forced to reverse the decision in order to keep the peace and money flowing.
So, while Sisolak’s plans don’t directly cause casinos and other establishments to close, they could lead to strikes which cause this to happen.
Casinos Are Empty Anyway
According to data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, casinos on the strip are barely functioning as is.
This means that punters are opting to stay home and off of the casino floor, so Sisolak’s new measures will likely have little to no impact anyway.
If anything, it could mean more people are going to the casinos because it feels safer to do so with fewer people entering the establishments, in theory, at least.
Numbers are down more than 70% compared to 2019, which is damning evidence that COVID-19 is directly impacting business.
So, while Goodman is trying to rally the troops and get Vegas open once more, Sisolak is trying to do it in the long-term.
If the state can control the spread of COVID-19, establishments can return to business as normal in less time, just like we’ve seen in New Zealand and areas of Australia where casinos have opened with no restrictions at all.
Will Goodman Get Her Way?
If Sisolak introduces even more restrictions or extends the current measures even longer, then we could see widespread support for Goodman and people going on strike.
If this happens, it won’t be long before Sisolak caves and reverses his decisions on the new restrictions.
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