I heart Vegas, as do most degenerates, and last December I landed in Vegas to spend the New Year on the strip for about ten days. I watched the fireworks display on NYE from a balcony at The Cosmo while I ate Secret Pizza (that I didn't blot with a napkin first, Foldi). I spent eight days in the desert driving around, hiking, walking the strip and getting hit on by dudes dressed up as Transformers (ultimate fkng nerd alert).
Thanks to @grubbstarVA for taking this very accurate real life moment photo jpeg.
Three months later, on March 17th, Nevada casinos were ordered to close due to the fear of the virus spreading in public places. Let me summarize the numbers for you. As of this morning Nevada had a total of 7,969 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 392 deaths, with a total population of about 2.9 million. For comparison, New York's numbers are about 360k confirmed cases with 23, 282 deaths, with a population of about 19.4 million, which works out to about 0.12% of the populations dying of Covid-19. Nevada's death rate by the numbers works out to a total of 0.013%.
The net profit of casinos just on The Vegas Strip are easily in the billions. Reopening is essential for Vegas to survive, and with their infection and death rates so low, who can argue against a reopening?
Nevada is starting it's second phase of reopening on May29th, with casinos set to reopen on June 4th, and they are ready to go. Visit Las Vegas is starting to market to our Covid-19 wrecked public to get us interested in visiting Vegas, but I see huge problems coming soon to an MGM property near you. So what is the "new reality"?
When Covid-19 hit, Vegas was in a boom. With the construction of the Raider's Stadium basically on the strip, The Strip was a cash cow for casinos and home prices were soaring after dealing with a depressed housing market for years. Phase 2 opening means life support begins for most businesses such as dine-in restaurants, retail, salons, and bars, but with a capped number of guests as one of the regulations.
Casino floors will not be open yet, but you can reserve rooms at the few select hotels that will be open. Hotels are going to offer fee parking, but non MGM properties were already doing this. Here are some of the real changes:
The Strip won't be opening all at once. MGM is looking to partially open two smaller properties at first, along with the enormous MGM Grand.
When casino floors are reopened, the Gaming Control Board recommends a limit of 6 people per craps table, 3 people per blackjack table, 4 people per roulette table and poker table, and every other chair be removed from slot machine banks.
Individual Casinos are making their own plans for reopening. The Wynn has 27 individual regulations for health and safety at their table games. MGM will require masks for employees, and will provide masks for guests, but they are not required to wear them. Other MGM changes include digitizing jobs to reduce human contact, digital room keys on your phone, etc. Casinos will be sanitizing frequently. The Venetian says it will sanitize chips approximately every two hours. All casinos will be offering masks and sanitizing wipes to guests whether it be in their room or stationed around resort properties.
The shows that make Vegas such a unique experience will also change. Theaters will limit occupancy and most showings will be limited to once a day. Shows at MGM properties like Cirqu Du Soliel shows are dark until June 30th. Shows may have to move to larger arenas (watering down the experience) in order to have enough guests to make the show profitable.
Pools will cleaned frequently and cabanas and loungers will be spaced evenly. The day clubs at pools that used to exist are closed for now. Properties will be sanitizing frequently with some powerwashing everythin nightly.
The Gaming board's plan includes the closure of both day clubs and nightclubs until further notice.
Some casinos (Wynn and Veneitan for now) will be implementing temperature checks using "noninvasive thermal cameras". Any person displaying any virus symptoms or showing a temperature above 100 degress will be discreetly offered a second screening which may include being directed to other medical care.
Buffets are closed. When they do reopen, you won't be able to decide on your own portion size. Sorry Grand_Handsome.
So, I'm going to stop the rules list for the city that is supposed to have no rules. Vegas relies on people being together. Vegas also relies on people being drunk and irresponsible. Try getting a group of 21 year old girls to wear masks when they are all dolled up and drunk will be an Ultimate Ninja Warrior challenge for authorities. Young people are fast and tend to give no fucks about rules.
Wearing masks cause a huge safety concern for me as a patron. DON'T FUCKING @ ME. I haven't swallowed the mask pill yet, but please debate me on this. Casinos just gave criminals a free pass to cover their face. It's not just casinos that experience robbery either. People win jackpots and get accosted in parking lots. Now criminals can freely take your jackpot winnings from The Sons of Anarchy slot machine and not worry about being identified. Not that theft is a crime anymore in major cities. Police are too busy babysitting the group of 21 year olds above to care about your misfortune.
Also, it's 120 fucking degrees in Vegas during the summer. Covid patients won't be overwhelming hospitals but let's see what happens with people passing out because they can't breathe or they overheat. I live in NY and the militant mask wearers here get REAL lax outside when its over 75 degrees. Not to mention, all these marketing materials coming out mentioning the new Vegas, do not picture people in masks. Why? Because they want to make it look appealing to actually go there.
For my fellow poker nerds, limiting the number of people at a table won't affect most games significantly, except for poker. The amount of players at a table in a cash game or tournament affects how you play and makes you blind off quickly. Players paying blinds twice as many times as they normally do will please any poker room manager, though. Way to finally find a way to make poker profitable for casinos! All you had to do was charge players double to play! AT least we cash in on all the comps! Just kidding! They don't do that for poker players either!
With all of these inconveniences and undesirable changes coming to Vegas, room prices are discounted, but not free. There is speculation that resort fees will disappear. Do frequent travelers to Vegas really believe this? They have to provide masks for all employees and guests, provide constant sanitation, hand sanitizer is gonna be urrywhere. Resort fees will easily double. MGM properties already charged minimum $20 a day for resort fees preCovid. That was just to use their shitty internet and dirty pool.
FYI they haven't cancelled smoking (which will kill more than and estimated 200,000 people in 2020) yet at Vegas casinos, so how am I supposed to take any of this shit seriously?