MGM, Wynn on Vegas Strip shutter for short-term

Wynn Resorts and MGM have announced separately that they are temporarily closing gaming and non-gaming properties in Las Vegas to try and help halt the progress of COVID-19 in the US. These closures should be in place by close of business on Tuesday 16th March.

Wynn’s shutdown is anticipated to last for two weeks, during which time all full-time employees would continue to be paid. A skeleton crew would remain to secure and maintain the facilities.

MGM Resorts is suspending operations at MGM Grand, Bellagio, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, New York-New York, CityCenter, Park MGM, Mirage, and the T-Mobile Arena. Gaming operations ceased Monday, closely followed by hotel operations.

In a statement, MGM chairman Jim Murren said: “Despite our commitment to dedicating additional resources for cleaning and promoting good health, while making difficult decisions to close certain aspects of our operations, it is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression.

“This is a time of uncertainty across our country and the globe and we must all do our part to curtail the spread of this virus. We will plan to reopen our resorts as soon as it safe to do so and we will continue to support our employees, guests, and communities in every way that we can during this period of closure.”

Nevada governor Steve Sisolak has issued guidelines for casinos in operation, including three chairs at table games, and cleaning and sanitising gaming machines at least every two hours.

Sisolak also suggested that gaming licensees “to do their best to protect the pay and benefits of their workforce during this difficult time.”

Other operators on the Strip have not said they will be shutting down in the immediate future.

MGM has also announced it will be complying with New Jersey governor Phil Murphy’s order by suspending operations at Borgata in Atlantic City from Monday 16th.

“This is an unprecedented public health crisis and we must all do our part for the public good and for the good of our employees and communities,” said MGM COO and president Bill Hornbuckle. “We will work hard to mitigate the impacts and will reopen as soon as it is appropriate and safe to do so.”

Image credit: Chay/Adobe Stock