Shut what? The inevitable Las Vegas Casino Closure Takes the Bitter Corona Cake

Lee R. - March 26, 2020

With Las Vegas shuttering 24-hour casinos, the problems for employee groups in the casino dependent state reverberate most strongly as well.

Whether you gamble or not, the idea of all the famously 24-hour casinos in Vegas shutting down may well be the farthest possible extension of corona or doomsday logic, but it has indeed happened.

What "Worst Case" Looks Like

The worst case happened when Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued what has rapidly emerged as an inevitable order on nonessential Nevada businesses to shut down, including of course the state's 440 licensed casinos. The unprecedented closure freezes Nevada’s cash crop by grinding the industry which has become synonymous with the state to a complete halt and leaving tens of thousands of workers without paychecks statewide.

Governor Override

The brave front that peppered the Las Vegas' landscape of various casinos adapted plans for staying open were rendered moot when Sisolak declared Tuesday that all casino operations were to cease at midnight.

Covering Casino Workers

The trades were lobbying for support, with American Gaming Association president and CEO Bill Miller calling for immediate federal aid in response to Sisolak’s announcement.

New Rights

One union leader asserted the right of all casino workers to get paid for not working, with Culinary Local 226 Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Argüello-Kline demanding “every Nevada employer pay all of their employees (including part-time workers) and extend healthcare benefits.”

Varying Casino Compensation

Meanwhile, well-known casino MGM Resorts submitted its plan for phasing in lay-offs in Las Vegas, providing all furloughed full-time and part-time hourly employees with two weeks of pay during the closures. Other casinos had more equitable initial worker compensation plans, with Las Vegas Sands Corp voluntarily announcing ahead of Sisolak’s order that employees would be paid during the closure and that no employee layoffs or furloughs were being considered; and Wynn Resorts Ltd. guaranteeing salary to all employees for 30 days.


With casino employees gearing up to insist on payment during work closures in Vegas, requests that would have seemed preposterous only hours earlier suddenly sound humane if not equitable.

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