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Las Vegas to reopen at full capacity in June

UFC announces that Conor McGregor July fight will have full stadium

By Buck Wargo - US correspondant for SiGMA

Las Vegas and the rest of Nevada is ready to move on from COVID-19 by relaxing social distancing requirements as soon as the beginning of May and fully reopen casinos and restaurants to full capacity on June 1st.

A mask mandate, however, will remain in effect with no timeline to end it yet.

The announcement is welcome news and applauded by residents of the city whose tourist-based economy was severely affected by the pandemic. Its casinos were shut in March 2020 and didn’t reopen until June with only half of capacity allowed on the gaming floor.

That capacity was dropped down to a fourth in November following a spike of COVID-19 cases and visits have been down by more than 50 per cent. Gaming revenue was down 40 per cent on the Strip in recent months. Since capacity was increased to 50% last month along with spring break and 80-degree weather,

Las Vegas has had its largest crowds since the pandemic. SiGMA recently held the second leg of its Digital Roadshow in Las Vegas, a 2 hour conference dedicated to the emerging trends and regulatory issues affecting the casino state. The monthly event will next take place in Manila. 

UFC fight to have 20,000 fans 

The Nevada Governor’s much anticipated announcement was followed hours later by Las Vegas-based UFC saying that Conor McGregor’s fight versus Dustin Poirier on July 10th at T-Mobile Arena will be filled to capacity with 20,000 fans.

The June reopening also paves the way for the return of concerts and other large-scale entertainment.

“I am happy to finally say Vegas is back,” UFC President Dana White said in a video announcement.

“Finally, it’s open again, and you know you’ve been wanting a bad-ass weekend in Vegas.”

The governor’s announcement comes as the state is approaching to reach the 50 percent mark of its residents getting at least one vaccination shot while casinos are moving to vaccinate their employees to show tourists and convention goers their properties are safe.

This week, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas announced that its employees will get up to $1 million in bonuses if 80 per cent of its workers are vaccinated by the beginning of May.

The removal of the social distancing requirement means that restaurants and other businesses don’t have to keep customers six feet apart if deemed so by counties and the Nevada Gaming Control Board can do the same for casinos. The state’s counties even have the authority to allow businesses to full capacity by May 1st if they chose to do so.

Clark County, which is where Las Vegas is located, will meet next week to consider its plan intended to expand capacity at restaurant tables from six to 10, allow self-service buffets to return, let nightclubs and dayclubs to reopen and allow Strip clubs and adult entertainment venues to reopen.

Conventions Resuming 

The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority was quick to let travellers know on social media of the full reopening on June 1st. That paves the way for more conventions to resume as the current restrictions on gatherings of 250 participants are lifted.

Las Vegas has the World of Concrete trade show set to open June 8th, and the LVCVA this week authorized spending nearly $500,000 to sponsor the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer finals in August at Allegiant Stadium.

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