The whirring sound of slot machines is coming back to the Las Vegas Strip, but it will be awhile before Sin City is back to normal operations.
MGM Resorts said on Wednesday it would re-open its Las Vegas casinos on June 4 after months of closure due to public health restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Democratic Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said on Tuesday he felt “confident” in the state’s tentative plan to re-open its gambling and hotel businesses on that date, and said guidelines could be released by the Nevada Gaming Commission as early as Wednesday.
Sisolak also said he had been exposed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and was being tested for infection.
“Out of an abundance of caution, I will be quarantining in the Nevada Governor’s Mansion in Carson City until I receive results of a COVID-19 test I took today,” he said in prepared remarks. “I will let you know as soon as I get the results.”
Discussions about how to re-open casinos have been heated, as unions representing hotel, restaurant and gaming workers seek protections for employees as well as guests in businesses that are typically crowded and sometimes rowdy.
MGM Grand said it would re-open four properties in Las Vegas – the Bellagio, New York-New York, the MGM Grand Las Vegas and The Signature.
It said it would screen all employees for COVID-19, including regular temperature checks and testing.
Floor guides will remind customers of physical distancing requirements, and plexiglass barriers will be installed to protect employees and guests in places where they must come closer than six feet.
While MGM did not specify where such barriers will be used, casinos have said they may use them at check-in counters and in front of card dealers.
Employees will be required to wear masks, and guests will be “strongly encouraged” to do so, the company said.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Sandra Maler and Sonya Hepinstall)
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Photo credit: Four MGM Resorts properties — the Bellagio, New York-New York, MGM Grand Las Vegas, and the Signature — are slated to reopen June 4. KenWalker / Wikimedia