While some casino industry experts have repeatedly warned that the ongoing violent protests in Las Vegas could discourage guests from heading back to casinos in the city, casino operators have declared that their reopening plans are still on track and they will not be deferred.
Las Vegas casinos have been closed since mid of March due to the deadly corona virus pandemic. Now they are all set to resume operations as Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and the state’s gaming regulator have set June 4th as the date for reopening of nonessential businesses, including casinos, to provide a boost to the corona-hit gaming-driven economy of the state. However, the death of an African American man identified as George Floyd triggered violent demonstrations and protests. People in different states across United States have protested against police brutality.
The violent demonstrations and protests in the Sin City prompted many to predict that the violence could discourage gamers to postpone their plans to head back to casinos in the city. However, the Nevada Resort Association, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts have stressed that their reopening plans would not be deferred due to the protests. They said that they stood for equality and respect for humanity, plus they were sad due to destructive events and scenes occurring following the death of 46-year-old African American. But, they stressed that nothing changed in the planned June 4th reopening of Las Vegas.
Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said, “The Wynn family is made up of every race, color and creed — representing the very best of Las Vegas and Boston. With that show of empathy, nothing has changed when it comes to the June 4 reopening of Las Vegas.”
George Floyd, an African American middle-aged man, died in police custody after he was arrested on May 25th in Minnesota. During the arrest, a White police officer pinned him to the floor by putting his knee on his neck. He complained that he wasn’t able to breathe and passed away within few minutes.
Rich Broome, a spokesperson for Caesars Entertainment Corp., and MGM Resorts International’s acting chief executive Bill Hornbuckle also stressed that they would advance with their preplanned reopening on June 4th despite ongoing protests.
Some experts, such as Anthony Cabot of Gaming Law at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law, also believe that the ongoing violence would likely not impact Las Vegas casinos’ reopening of casinos as they are positioned back from the main streets where the violent protests are taking place. Moreover, casinos have advanced security systems and the National Guards are present in the city.