Casino Closures Continue To Sweep Across US And Canada

Casino closures have accelerated quickly in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic, as stringent guidelines are starting to be placed stating that land-based gaming establishments will enter a temporary closure period.

Following a variety of similar acts over the weekend, the Mississippi Gaming Commission has ensured that casinos must close with no approximate reopening date given for in the order until further notice from today.

Boyd Gaming and Full House Resorts subsequently followed up with their own temporary closure notices, first announced by MGM Resorts International, which would shutter its Beau Rivage Resort and Casino and Gold Strike Casino Resort entities.

Daniel Lee, president and CEO of Full House Resorts said: “These are challenging times. Our primary concern has always been the health and well-being of our guests and employees.

“We know of no instances of COVID-19 at any of our resorts. However, we understand the magnitude of this public health emergency and the necessity to take certain actions. We look forward to welcoming back all of our guests and employees as soon as possible.”

Similar enforcements have also seen Boyd shut down its five Louisiana businesses, in compliance with orders obtained from the state’s Gaming Control Board, with Full House’s Bronco Billy’s Casino & Hotel in Cripple Creek, Colorado, halting operations for at least 30 days after state orders.

The official Governor and Gaming Control Board orders of the Pelican and Centennial State have also seen Penn National Gaming close all assets in both states, with regulatory actions in Pennsylvania and Maine requiring similar precautionary measures against the continued spread of COVID-19.

Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National Gaming said: “This is a challenging time for all of us, and we are very appreciative of the overwhelming support and understanding from our guests and team members.

“We look forward to reopening our doors just as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will be taking the opportunity to continue our deep cleaning efforts and preparing our casino to welcome our loyal customers back.”

Churchill Downs Interactive has confirmed that an announcement about the 146th Kentucky Derby is coming after previously announced closures with a raft of temporary suspensions at 12 properties across eight states.

Canterbury Park Holding Company has also announced that it would temporarily suspend all card casino, simulcast, and special event activities at Minnesota’s Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino, based on guidance from state and regulatory bodies.

For two weeks, Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resorts Casino will voluntarily be close to the public in accordance with the state’s requirement to reduce COVID-19’s threats and impacts.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has also imposed a set of prohibitions on licensees currently seeking to continue operations:

  • There may be no more than three chairs at each table game.
  • Each gaming machine must be cleaned and sanitised at least once every two hours.
  • Patrons may not serve themselves from buffets that remain open. Similarly, employees may not serve themselves in employee dining areas.
  • The gaming floor and other public areas of a licensee’s property must operate under the latest social distancing guidance from Nevada’s medical advisory team.

In Canada, the British Columbia Lottery Company has reported that yesterday, following a guidance released by Attorney General David Eby and revealed today by Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry, an orderly closure of all casinos, community gaming centres and bingo halls throughout the area was to be completed.