Major Casino Operator Pushes For Memorial Day Re-Opening Of Las Vegas

Wednesday 22nd April 2020

Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox, a major casino operator in Las Vegas, has exhorted Nevada's governor for a mid- to late May reopening of the Las Vegas Strip with the proviso that extensive safety measures will be put in place.

Maddox made the call through an opinion column on the Nevada Independent where he said Governor Steve Sisolak should allow the local economy to reopen by early May.

"Begin with reduced occupancy, physical distancing measures in place, temperature checks and no large gatherings," Maddox wrote. "We all need to wear a mask."

Coupled with his call to reopen, Maddox also shared his company's health and safety guidelines for reopening. These included only allowing four people at a time to ride elevators and requiring guests to only enter doors that automatically open, are propped open, or are manually handled by an employee.

Sisolak had all casinos and non-essential businesses shuttered for 30 days starting March 18. This was extended to April 30 but has said last week that he had no specific date on when non-essential businesses may reopen.

The United States has tallied the most number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, currently at more than 730,000 infections and over 39,600 deaths.

Nevada has at least 3,725 confirmed cases with 155 deaths.

Wynn Resorts closed its US locations on March 15 and 17. It owns and operates the Wynn Las Vegas, the Encore Boston Harbor, the Wynn Macau and the Wynn Palace, Cotai

Following an industry-wide two-week closure, Wynn's Macau casinos restarted operations on February 20. The local government required temperature checks, fewer open tables, and bans on guests standing or congregating.

The coronavirus pandemic seems to have tapered off in China but appears to be ramping up in the US.

President Trump has wanted to end state-mandated lockdown orders and last week released federal government guidelines that would allow states to reopen their economies using a staggered, three-stage process.

Health experts have been warning against a second wave of infections once people start going out of lockdown. They added that extensive testing, contact tracing, and antibody testing are all needed to prevent or mitigate a second wave.

All of Wynn's North American employees, whether salaried, part-time or hourly, are paid through May 15. It's costing the company roughly $3 million per day or $180 million for two months, said Maddox.

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