The almost twelve-week coronavirus-related shuttering of casinos in Nevada ended early on Thursday morning with the re-opening venues along the world-famous Las Vegas Strip reportedly being met by ‘long lines and packed flights’ of gamblers.
According to a Friday report from Yahoo! Finance, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered every one of the 442 commercial casinos in the ‘The Silver State’ to shut up shop on March 17 as the number of locals who had come down with the potentially deadly coronavirus strain reached 55.
However, this 78-day closure order was reportedly lifted late last week as the tally of new coronavirus infections began to fall with The D Las Vegas, Bellagio Las Vegas and Aria Resort and Casino becoming some of the first casinos along the Las Vegas Strip to again begin welcoming punters.
Shaun Kelley from Bank of America reportedly told Yahoo! Finance that the initial signs from Las Vegas have been good, which has prompted several other casino operators including Caesars Entertainment Corporation and MGM Resorts International to accelerate their own local re-opening plans.
Kelley reported told Yahoo! Finance…
“From local reports and our channel checks, the demand was strong with long lines and packed flights similar to most regional gaming markets.”
Room rate reality:
Although this news will no doubt come as welcome relief to casino stock investors, Kelley reportedly told Yahoo! Finance that aggregated average room rates for Las Vegas Strip venues will still likely fall by about 36% year-on-year this month before plummeting by a comparable 46% in July. He purportedly explained that this will negatively impact operator margins as the Nevada gaming industry struggles to cope with the ongoing coronavirus-linked cancellation of conferences and events.
Kelley reportedly furthermore told Yahoo! Finance that Las Vegas Sands Corporation is expected to suffer the smallest comparable year-on-year drops in average local room rates courtesy of 23% and 40% diminutions for June and July respectively. On the flip side and he purportedly detailed that Wynn Resorts Limited is projected to chalk up the steepest such decline via a projected 43% decrease this month before the reduction hits 53% for July.