The coronavirus led to Las Vegas casinos being closed for the first time since the JFK assassination. But nearly two months after the global pandemic shut down Sin City, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak says casinos reopen starting on June 4th. Obviously Las Vegas, like the rest of the country, won’t return to normal at first. Instead, casinos are limiting the amount of gamblers at table games and some casinos won’t reopen their poker rooms.
Sports Illustrated’s gambling analyst Frank Taddeo highlights some of the major announcements coming out of the Sagebrush State.
Read the full transcript below:
Bill Enright: Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak had some good news for the casino industry. This is Gambling Today and let's bring on Sports Illustrated gambling analyst Frank Taddeo. Frank, you're out in Vegas. What did the governor of Nevada have to say?
Frank Taddeo: Yeah, Bill, it took a little bit of a while for us to get around to it, but finally, late last night, we finally heard word that Sisolak's phase two of reopening the road to recovery for the state's economy will finally go into effect this Friday, which includes steps for reopening casinos throughout Nevada on June 4th. Last week, state officials let us know that Nevada's jobless rate skyrocketed to 28.2% in April. That's the worst ever for the state and the highest in the entire country, Bill. It remains to be seen if both locals and tourists will immediately come back and visit the greatest gambling destination in the world. But to help that end, Derek Stevens, owner of the Las Vegas and Golden Gate Hotel Casino, recently announced this morning the creation of 'Keep America Flying,' where he's going to be giving away 1,000 free one-way flights to Las Vegas for more than 20 major U.S. cities. In addition, Bill, SI gambling learned just hours ago that the Nevada State Athletic Commission unanimously approved UFC events to be held at the Apex facility in Las Vegas for this Saturday and again on June 6th. Top-ranked boxing was also approved to have boxing events held in Las Vegas. The first card will be held on June 9th at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Combat sports will now resume in Nevada with New COVID-19 safety protocols while following the policy of unfortunately no fans in attendance. The new Vegas for the new reality is finally on track to commence, Bill. That's some great news.
Bill Enright: Hey, no fans at the events, but it's a step in the right direction for sure. Excellent reporting, as always, Frank. We appreciate it. Plenty more gambling coverage from Sports Illustrated. You can find it by going to SI.com/gambling.