LAS VEGAS, NV (KXNT) - Three major casino companies have become the latest to announce that they will be temporarily ceasing operations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The first to announce a full closure was Las Vegas Sands, announcing that its Venetian and Palazzo resorts, as well as the Las Vegas Sands Convention Center, would close temporarily as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shutter American businesses and drive workers and their families indoors.
In a press release, Las Vegas Sands pledged to pay its team members and continue health benefits throughout the temporary closure, with no layoffs or furloughs planned at this time.
That’s a relief to thousands of workers who would otherwise be enjoying the benefits of packed casinos and sportsbooks during the annual March Madness celebrations. Like the NCAA tournament, Las Vegas’ famed watch parties and other gatherings that have been canceled in the wake of the pandemic.
Combined, the Venetian and Palazzo resorts account for more than 7,000 hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas Sands also pledged to donate $250,000 to organizations that are working to support and feed families during the crisis, including Three Square Food Bank, Share Village Las Vegas, and Communities In Schools of Nevada.
By continuing to pay its employees and refusing to cut workers, Las Vegas Sands is avoiding the criticism that has befallen its neighbor MGM Resorts International, which has been forced to lay off and furlough full-time and part-time employees at its properties. The company says it will extend health benefits for affected employees until June 30, in addition to offering two weeks of pay.
Station Casinos also announced that all its Vegas properties would be closing. Casino operations are stopping at midnight, with hotels closing at 6pm on Thursday.