Nevada Casino Company Share Prices Soar After Positive COVID-19 Vaccine News

  • Pfizer announced on Monday that its coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective
  • Wynn Resorts’ share price was the biggest mover among Nevada casino operators, rising 27.7%
  • Pharma company will file an emergency-use application with US regulators in the coming weeks
  • Nevada casinos have struggled since reopening their doors because of low visitor numbers 
gloved doctor's hand holding Covid-19 vaccine vial
Major Nevada casino companies saw significant share price increases on Monday following the positive news about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A significant rise

Nevada casino companies’ share prices rose significantly on Monday after American multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer Inc. announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing coronavirus infection.

COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective

Among the six leading Nevada-based casino operators, the two biggest jumpers were MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd. The latter saw its share price close up 27.7% for the day, with MGM’s price appreciating by 14.9%. Caesars Entertainment Inc., which has a significant presence in Las Vegas, observed a 10.9% share price rise, while Las Vegas Sands Corp. figures went up 9.2%. Share prices for Boyd Gaming Corp. and Red Rock Resorts increased by about 3%.

Other sectors that registered a big share price boost on the back of the vaccine news included hotels, airlines, and cruise companies.

Vaccine to restore some normality

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) College of Hospitality assistant professor Amanda Belarmino told the Las Vegas Review-Journal why the vaccine news was so significant for casino operators. She said that for gambling firms, this would signify:

the thing that will finally make travel and entertainment a part of daily lives once again.” 

Belarmino noted that the initial reopening of Nevada’s casinos on June 4 following pandemic shutdowns was exciting, but their eventual full resumption of activity without extensive restrictions will be “the single most exciting day in our history”.

The vaccine data is still in the preliminary stages, and there is no concrete timeline for its rollout. However, Pfizer plans to file an emergency-use application with regulators in the United States in the coming weeks. 

The rocky road to recovery

The major casino companies’ share prices have been struggling to get back to pre-COVID levels, with ongoing uncertainty regarding the pandemic believed to have caused large fluctuations.

Caesars Entertainment’s share price fell from $74.92 to $6.02 when shutdowns began in mid-March. At closing on Monday, it was back up to $63.08. Wynn Resorts’ third-quarter results showed total revenue plummeting by 77.5% year-on-year, down to $370.5m, and suffering a net loss of $831.5m in Q3. Its Macau business struggled the most, with revenues dropping 97.4% year-on-year. Its Las Vegas operations registered a revenue drop of 53.3%.

Since reopening in June, Nevada casinos have been dealing with low demand because of poor visitor numbers. Many are hesitant to travel on vacation, and there is almost non-existent business travel to the state. This has led several hotel-casinos in Las Vegas to close their doors during the week, with not enough customer demand to justify opening. Among them, the Encore now only operates from Thursday through Monday noon.