With a federal mandate in place preventing non-essential businesses from operating until the end of the month, President Trump is considering allowing the Governors of some states to decide the most appropriate course of action when creating a timeline for reopening.
The President had previously suggested that he alone would make the call for reopening on a national scale, but the Las Vegas journal is reporting his change of message to state-level governance.
The response of state governors has been mixed, with some applauding the decision and others declaring that his judgment is misguided. Trump believes that each state is positioned differently in the COVID-19 crisis and that a decision that affected all citizens equally would not be appropriate at this time.
Nevada is at the forefront of the gaming industry and is in the midst of its most prolonged shutdown in history. The massive financial losses are growing by the day, and the Las Vegas casino industry is desperate to get the money flowing once again.
On Tuesday, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak Tweeted a statement saying that he would lean on the expertise of medical professionals when making a decision regarding the reopening of Nevada and its casino strip.
Nevada's state-specific plan to phase out the current Stay at Home directives and reopen our economy will be driven by the advice of medical experts to ensure the health and safety of our residents, (1/4)
— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) April 14, 2020
Putting the decision to reopen solely in the hands of state governors will have mixed results, as some areas are less affected, and some political leaders favor getting back to work, regardless of health risk.
Las Vegas casinos have other concerns to think about. The nature of casino table games requires the gathering of multiple individuals around close quarters. Slot machines are arranged next to one another and would allow for gamblers to sit within a few inches of each other. Even with the most well-intentioned precautions being taken, the risk to spread the Coronavirus will remain.
Now would be an excellent time for Nevada to consider adopting new regulations to replace current gambling laws and allow their in-state casinos to offer online play. Because of the lack of language on Nevada lawbooks outlining the legalities of wagering with an offshore betting site, players in the state are flocking to them in record numbers.
The money spent at these offshore casinos represent funds that could go into the pockets of in-state facilities and could serve to maintain the employment of a large chunk of a workforce that is now sitting at home.
The most advantageous aspect is that these legal online casinos allow 18+ members, and are open 24 hours a day. Casino games can be played from the comfort of your living room, and bets can be placed on the latest political races and television shows – something Las Vegas sportsbooks do not accept wagers for.
Heck, even if you’re in a bunker riding this pandemic out, you can place a wager on an athletic contest or gamble on a variety of casino games all in the palm of your hand with online mobile casinos. They will keep you busy until local casinos open once again.