Caesars, Las Vegas Sands Announce Casino Reopening Plans

  • Caesars properties will be reopened in a phased approach based on capacity and demand
  • Las Vegas Sands aims to reopen its properties in June, all workers will be tested beforehand
  • Comprehensive safety measures will be implemented by both casino companies
  • People who live with employees will also be tested for COVID-19 before the doors reopen
panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip
Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands have announced plans to gradually reopen their properties. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Slowly but surely

Two of the biggest casino companies in the United States, Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands, have released details about their plans to gradually reopen their Las Vegas properties in the near future. 

Both of these companies have outlined a variety of precautionary measures that will be in place to protect workers and patrons alike. This is a requirement set out by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) before casinos can open their doors again.

outlined a variety of precautionary measures that will be in place to protect workers and patrons

Social distancing will remain in place for some time even after these properties start to reopen. The casino companies will also be working closely with the relevant domestic and international authorities to ensure that all appropriate protocols are in place. 

Caesars’ plan

Caesars Entertainment issued a press release on Monday detailing its plans to open up some of its casinos across its network. This includes its properties in Las Vegas, Council Bluffs, Lake Tahoe, and Atlantic City.

Reopenings will be dependent on permission being given by the relevant government or tribal authorities. Areas with multiple Caesars properties will reopen in a phased approach based on capacity and demand. 

A comprehensive health and safety program has been developed to further enhance the company’s current standards. This will include the enhanced sanitization and cleaning of all guest rooms and public spaces. All employees will receive training to comply with all new policies.

There will be limits on how much players can stake on slot machines and table games. The non-gaming aspects of the properties, such as bars, restaurants, and entertainment areas, will also open in phases.

All workers will wear a mask during work hours, and additional PPE may be given to security and housekeeping employees. Guests will also be encouraged to wear masks, which will be provided by Caesars. All workers will undergo a health screening program before properties reopen. 

Las Vegas Sands’ approach

Las Vegas Sands aims to have its Las Vegas properties open in June and has committed to paying its staff until then. Its major properties in Las Vegas are the Palazzo and the Venetian.

All workers will get tested for coronavirus before returning to work, as well as members of their household aged older than twelve years old.

Sands will be paying for all of these tests, with two different types of tests being carried out. One test will identify if a worker currently has the virus. The other will look for coronavirus antibodies that would indicate if the person previously had the virus.

This testing will take place at the Sands Expo via the PMH Laboratory and Wellness Group. A test to see if workers currently have the virus is mandatory before returning to work, while people can voluntarily take the antibodies test.

Dealing with the pandemic

Casinos in Nevada have been closed since the middle of March when Governor Steve Sisolak ordered all non-essential businesses to close in an attempt to quell the spread of the coronavirus.

Nevada’s current stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 15

To date, 6,152 people in Nevada have been confirmed with having contracted the virus, with 312 deaths. Nevada’s current stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 15, with guidelines being issued for casinos looking to reopen.

Most casino companies saw major falls in their stock prices as a result of these closures both in Nevada and across the country. Dividends have been cut and profit warnings have been issued. Hundreds of thousands of workers have been furloughed and the future looks unclear for a lot of them.