Like many other states, California is also witnessing a steep rise in the COVID-19 cases. So, lawmakers have decided to revert the state’s reopening plans for businesses.
Though the demand is not surprising, it is yet to see how Governor Newsom implements the order to shut down Native American-run casinos. In any case, the surge of the virus is likely to affect California’s gambling industry over the weeks to come.
COVID-19 Cases Continue to Grow in California
Initially, the state of California seemed commendable for its curb against the novel coronavirus. The prompt executive action led to the timely lockdowns that did well in stopping the contagion. However, with the lifting of the lockdown, the infection rate has begun to surge in California.
Currently, it’s a precarious situation as many industries around the state are bearing the brunt of both the virus and the state-led regulations. Now with the state’s rolling-back of the reopening plan, the small businesses may suffer the most, and the closure of California casinos is also on the cards.
Undoubtedly, the contagion is spreading fast in California, with 335,000 confirmed cases, and with a death toll of over 7000.
A few days back, the Las Vegas Palazzo announced its closure for weekends due to a plunge in customer demand.
In this time of uncertainty, with the ever-decreasing tourism rate, California’s casino industry faces shutdowns too.
California Casinos Could Be Asked to Shut Down Soon
Indeed, California has been doing its best to bring down the infection rates. Many rigorous measures have been taken in Los Angles and San Diego. And now the authorities are assessing if it is time to shut down the state casinos.
Recently, a few officials of the California Gaming Association spoke publicly about this situation. Now, they call for Governor Newsom to issue orders for the state casinos to temporarily shut down.
Located in Lincoln, Thunder Valley Casino has been under significant criticism for its lack of safety measures. According to the employees, the casino is not following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to check the spread of the coronavirus. Some of those casino workers even believe these casinos need to be closed.
While commenting on the situation with sarcasm, an employee said that he thought we (authorities) should be sitting back and wait until the number increases.
Another casino worker said that though the California casinos are on sovereign land, the law shouldn’t “supersede public health.”
In a letter written to Gov Newsom, Kyle Kirkland, the President of the CGA, called for the casinos’ closure. Kirkland believes it would help to slow down the infection rate in California.
However, the tribal leader might not love this idea.
More States Are Watching Closely Their Casinos Industries
In June, many states allowed their casino industry to reopen. Casino companies have been complaining since that the regulations are stifling their economic growth.
With a sudden decline in tourism, gambling revenue is feared to significantly decrease. Now some experts believe the rapid spread of the coronavirus may lead to many gambling venues across the US.
Currently, California casinos are under the spotlight for a possible shutdown. However, it is yet to see how Newsome may close the venues that sit on sovereign land. However, the CGA believes it’s possible.
A number of major casino companies lately witnessed their share prices increase. It was because of China’s decision of lifting restrictions to and from Macau. The move will help the casinos in Macau to begin generating more revenue.
Indeed, this is a critical time for the brick-and-mortar casino industry. We may witness some major changes taking place before the end of the year.