Watch: Las Vegas Casinos Reopen After 78-Day Coronavirus Lockdown

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 04: Guests play craps on a table with plexiglass safety shields at Bellagio Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip after the property opened for the first time since being closed on March 17 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on June 4, 2020 …
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Las Vegas strip began to breathe new life on Thursday as some casinos started to reopen after 78 days without gambling because of the Chinese coronavirus lockdown.

In the wee hours of Thursday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported:

Nevada casinos reopened for gaming at 12:01 am. Thursday, ushering in guests eager to try their luck 78 days after resorts were closed because of the COVID-19 [disease caused by the coronavirus] pandemic.

Certain amenities, including buffets and shows, remain closed. Not all properties will reopen Thursday, and those that do will follow a new set of health and safety protocols. Guests can expect to see lots of plexiglass, masks, and social distancing reminders.

The Las Vegas casinos that opened their doors did so as part of Nevada’s phase two reopening process, which began May 29.

Yahoo Finance noted:

Led by the reopening of casinos held by Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, and Las Vegas Sands, Thursday marked a return to operations at many of Sin City’s most frequented attractions. Even MGM’s famed Bellagio’s fountains were roaring again to the tune of Elvis’ Viva Las Vegas.

But as the coronavirus pandemic threat continues, analysts are warning that a total return to normalcy for gaming stocks might not be as quick as hoped. Despite a slow trickle back to booking activity, Morningstar senior equity analyst Dan Wasiolek estimates it could take until 2023 before Las Vegas revenues return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

A video disseminated on Twitter shows The D casino’s gaming floor packed with people enjoying themselves in close proximity, consistent with the environment in some of the other establishments.

While the footage shows the employees wearing masks, most patrons are not.

Surfaces of at least some of the casinos are being wiped down regularly, pictures on Twitter show.

Nevada began its reopening process on May 9, allowing restaurants and hair salons to resume operations.

Besides businesses on the Las Vegas strip, Nevada is also permitting gyms and other fitness facilities to reopen during phase two.

Analysts expect more visitors to flock to Las Vegas as more casinos reopen in the coming days.

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