Wynn Resorts CEO Pushes for May Reopening of Las Vegas Casinos

  • Matt Maddox is calling on Nevada's governor to allow conditional reopening mid to late May
  • Sisolak shut down nonessential businesses on March 18, no official resumption date announced
  • CEO outlined necessary health and safety measures such as reduced occupancy, physical distancing, temperature checks
Wynn Las Vegas luxury resort facade
The CEO of Wynn Resorts wants Nevada’s nonessential businesses, such as casinos, to start reopening in May. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Calling for a timeline

Matt Maddox, the CEO of Wynn Resorts, has called on Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak to start allowing Las Vegas Strip casinos to reopen mid to late May. Sisolak closed all casinos in the state from March 18, with the shutdown set to remain in place for the foreseeable future. 

certain benchmarks will first need to be hit

Maddox noted that wide-ranging safety measures would have to be implemented for conditional openings in May. He said he is also aware that certain benchmarks will first need to be hit in terms of the curtailment of the virus spread. 

Governor Sisolak initially ordered the suspension of all nonessential businesses in the state for a 30-day period. An extension to the order brought the shutdown date up to April 30.

The governor has said there is still no defined date for the reopening of nonessential operations, so another closure extension could be in the cards.

Safety measures for reopening

In his opinion piece on the Nevada Independent website, Maddox praised Sisolak’s efforts in dealing with the coronavirus crisis. Speaking about what the gradual casino reopening would look like, he said: “Begin with reduced occupancy, physical distancing measures in place, temperature checks and no large gatherings. We all need to wear a mask.”

reduced occupancy, physical distancing measures in place, temperature checks and no large gatherings”

Wynn Resorts has been developing its own additional health and safety measures for when its properties resume operation. These include allowing up to four people to go in the same elevator at a given time. Patrons would only be able to enter the resorts through doors that are propped open, automatically opened, or manually opened by an employee. 

The United States is the worst-affected country to date in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. It has registered over 770,000 infections and more than 41,100 people have died. In Nevada, over 3,700 people have officially contracted COVID-19, resulting in 155 reported deaths.

Wynn casinos suffer similar fate globally

Wynn Resorts’ global properties are the Wynn Las Vegas, Encore Boston Harbor, Wynn Palace (Cotai), and the Wynn Macau. The United States facilities were closed between March 15 and March 17. US employees are getting full pay until May 15. This will cost $3m per day, or $180m for a two-month closure period.

The two Macau establishments closed their doors for 15 days in February following a similar shutdown of nonessential businesses on the island. They reopened on February 20, but with heavy restrictions on travel from mainland still in place, patron numbers and revenues remain low. Precautionary measures deployed by Macau casinos include mandatory temperature checks upon entry, fewer slots machines and table games in operation, and rules against the congregation of patrons.

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