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Las Vegas casinos will not be reopening anytime soon

CNN's Anderson Cooper speaks with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman about the decision to reopen casinos in her city amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Apr 23, 2020 1:20 PM
Updated: Apr 23, 2020 1:20 PM

The mayor of Las Vegas wants Sin City to reopen -- but gaming industry workers, casino executives and Nevada's governor beg to differ.

That's why it's unlikely that gamblers will be setting foot inside casinos on the glitzy Las Vegas Strip anytime soon.

In a testy interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper Wednesday, Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman repeatedly called for business to return to normal.

"I'd love everything open because we've had viruses for years that have been here," she said at one point.

Nevada governor and casinos not ready to reopen the Strip

Goodman also criticized Cooper for showing a graphic from Chinese researchers that showed how easily the coronavirus can be spread in public.

"This isn't China. This is Las Vegas, Nevada," Goodman said, prompting a stunned Cooper to retort: "Wow. OK, that's really ignorant."

Goodman acknowledged she does not have the authority to reopen casinos or other businesses in the city. That call will come from Nevada governor Steve Sisolak.

And Sisolak is not rushing to get back to business as usual.

In an interview with Cooper after Goodman's comments Wednesday, Sisolak said Nevada is "clearly not ready to reopen" and that he will not use Nevada as a "control group" for the rest of the country.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board issued strict guidelines earlier this week detailing the many steps that casinos will need to take before reopening.

And casino employees have also balked at the idea of returning to work.

"The mayor's statements are outrageous considering essential frontline workers have been dealing with the consequences of this crisis firsthand," said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226 in a statement.

"Health and safety is our priority. Workers and guests have to be safe," she added.

American gaming firms struggling

Casino stocks have naturally been hit hard due to the Las Vegas shutdown. Shares of Caesars Entertainment have plunged 40% this year while Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts have plummeted 45% and 60% respectively.

Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian and Palazzo casinos on the Strip as well as the Sands Expo & Convention Center, has also suffered. Shares are down about 35% so far in 2020.

The company, which also has casinos in Macau, was the first of the major gaming firms to report results for the first quarter, saying late Wednesday that its global revenue plunged more than 50% from a year ago.

The numbers weren't as bad as feared though. sparking a rally in Las Vegas Sands and other casino stocks Thursday. Las Vegas Sands surged nearly 10%.

The other major US casino companies will also likely discuss what's happening in Las Vegas when they report their latest earnings in the next few weeks.

During a conference call with analysts, Las Vegas Sands president and COO Robert Glen Goldstein said he was optimistic that gamblers would flock back to Macau once casinos reopen there. But he was less enthusiastic about the possibility of a quick rebound in Las Vegas.

"I believe that from the bottom of my heart, the recovery in Asia is going to happen rather quickly. I'm not as comfortable in Vegas," Goldstein said.

Goldstein pointed out that there are significant questions about when people will be willing to fly to Las Vegas and whether consumers will want to take vacations any time soon given how badly the economy has been hurt by the pandemic.

There's also the issue of whether Americans will acclimate to stricter social distancing guidelines that will be required in the US once casinos eventually do reopen.

In Asia, many health and safety measures were already more common before the Covid-19 outbreak.

But Goldstein said it's not clear how comfortable Americans will be about possibly needing to have their temperature checked and wearing masks and gloves before entering a casino.

"It is different. And I think it will be a little bit difficult here," Goldstein said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
Hendricks17696317
Clark13233195
Madison13176344
Vigo12631253
LaPorte12429221
Monroe12226176
Delaware10970198
Howard10349224
Kosciusko9643121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8174157
Warrick7864156
Floyd7815180
Grant7248179
Wayne7164201
Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
Marshall6214116
Cass6024110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502396
Lawrence4753122
Gibson445595
Clinton443555
Harrison441775
DeKalb440385
Montgomery439890
Whitley406744
Huntington403381
Steuben400859
Miami395769
Jasper389155
Knox377691
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332753
Daviess3035100
Wells295481
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey274335
LaGrange273272
Scott270356
Clay267148
Washington246336
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228159
Fountain222048
Sullivan214843
Owen212358
Fulton204043
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175344
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120847
Newton114936
Brown104443
Benton102614
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84115
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109697

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1289521469
Cuyahoga1158802216
Hamilton814201251
Montgomery525861049
Summit484551006
Lucas43384824
Butler39098606
Stark33355930
Lorain25689506
Warren24612305
Mahoning22388602
Lake21219389
Clermont20138253
Delaware18892136
Licking16671225
Fairfield16589204
Trumbull16560483
Medina15618273
Greene15292248
Clark14244306
Wood13296200
Portage13254216
Allen11919239
Richland11611211
Miami10857225
Wayne9153225
Columbiana9039230
Muskingum8909135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8649139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6999133
Ross6948163
Geauga6850151
Scioto6540106
Belmont6159174
Union585049
Lawrence5741102
Jefferson5683159
Huron5554122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5321109
Athens524460
Auglaize502487
Mercer487785
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435997
Putnam4336104
Defiance432399
Fulton432274
Crawford4046110
Brown402761
Logan387678
Preble3859105
Clinton379266
Ottawa373581
Highland360266
Williams348578
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318454
Perry297350
Morrow291940
Fayette285750
Hardin275765
Henry273867
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269360
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197548
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110124
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
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Decatur
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Daily rounds of showers and thunderstorms will increase the flood threat across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
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