Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered the closure of the state’s casinos during the coronavirus pandemic, but Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is pushing back against closing the state’s number one cash cow. The loss of income of hundreds of thousands of casino workers is also on the line, and many of them live paycheck to paycheck.
Won’t Survive A Shutdown
After Gov. Sisolak ordered the immediate shutdown of all casinos in the state for 30 days, Las Vegas felt the impact. The current government order is the longest shutdown since gambling was legalized in 1931.
However, Mayor Goodman opposed the governor’s shutdown and called to cut the closure time in half.
“Our economy depends on tourism and being open for dining, entertainment, gaming, sports,” Goodman said in a speech before the Las Vegas City Council. She also said that 2.2 million in the Las Vegas area live paycheck to paycheck, so the closures are hurting more than the state tax coffers.
In asking for the casino closure times to be reduced, the mayor said “I know we, they, cannot survive any total shutdown of the economy … beyond the immediate week or two.”
While the governor did not cite Mayor Goodman specifically in his response, his message was clear enough:
“Your life and the life of your neighbors and family members will always be more valuable to me than the perceived and mistaken economic gain we have by cutting this isolation period short or by waiting one more day to get serious,” Sisolak said. “I am not asking them anymore. I am telling them they must close their doors or they will face the consequences.”
Las Vegas receives 42 million visitors per year through tourism and gambling, and according to Mayor Goodman, three million Nevadans depend on that income. More than 205,000 casino employees in Nevada are currently out of work, and the economic effects will hit the workers harder than the state – or the casino moguls asking for corporate welfare.
Since the first cases of coronavirus hit Vegas casinos, Nevada has seen over 100 cases of COVID-19 and two deaths, mostly in the Las Vegas area.
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