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Nevada to Loosen Restrictions on Meetings and Casinos

  • Written By Kevin Parker
  • Edited
  • Reading 5 minutes

It has been almost a year since the pandemic in the United States started, forcing casinos and entertainment venues on shutdown. Now, Gov. Steve Sisolak and the State of Nevada are sending a clear signal that recovery may finally be at hand.

On Thursday, the governor announced that starting this Monday, February 15, gaming floors will be able to host up to 35% of their capacity, with the measure scaling up to 50% capacity in a month’s time, assuming authorities are happy with the epidemiological situation in the state.

Nevada’s gaming market has been stuck with 25% capacity limit, not taking into accounts the many closures that occurred all throughout 2020 and businesses debating whether to reopen. Speaking on Thursday, Gov. Sisolak had this to say:

“The Gaming Control Board will make that call. The Board and the Gaming Commission ultimately have authority over any licensed properties.”

The state began inoculating front-liners and first-respondents a month ago, with casino workers cited as one of the priority groups for Nevada. Yet, some delays have occurred. Gov. Sisolak said at the time that casino workers were a priority in order for the Silver State to recover its economy.

So far, the state has given over 307,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with 82,000 second doses administered. State health authorities are trying to inoculate as many people because the immune response a first dose elicits is strong enough to keep the virus at bay.

Trump Plaza Implosion Set for February 17

After much speculation about the actual date of implosion, the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey is set to be destroyed on February 17. There have been various speculations about how to approach it.

Demolishing buildings can be costly and elicits air pollution and so City Hall, have decided to auction the demolition rights off. A crowd funding campaign was set for Stormy Daniels, retired porn actresses who allegedly had a sexual relationship with former President Donald Trump, to grant her the rights to push the button.

There has not been new information about who would get to press the button and if the auction actually elected a victor. Yet, this is far from the minds of Atlantic City officials. The last hotel to be destroyed over 12 years ago was the Sands in 2007, and the space left by the hotel has been disused.

Alabama Slows Down Casino Push Due to Location Concerns

Alabama is this close from legalizing casino gaming, and then again it isn’t. Legislators on Thursday raised concerns about the proposed five locations of casinos in the state amid the debate for a bill that would allow casinos and lottery in the state.

Entering the Alabama Senate on Thursday and pushed by Sen. Del Marsh, the bill got a fairly warm welcome, but lawmakers didn’t come up with a decision. The discussions about the bill took about an hour before the session was adjourned.

Sen. Marsh confirmed that he would seek to work on the legislation prior to next hearing in a bid to calm concerns about the proposed locations. Casinos may lead to other business shutdowns, some lawmakers objected, citing bingo halls.

Yet, Sen. Marsh also cautioned that if the state allowed too many gambling properties, and specifically casinos, voters may not be so keen to approve a ballot measure, which would be needed to change the constitution and introduce casino gambling in the state.

For any bill to pass successfully the Alabama Legislature would have to vote in favor with a three-fifths majority and then the legislation would have to be submitted to a state referendum.

Alabama should explore its options when it comes to casino gambling. According to the Legislative Service Agency, casinos will generate $260-$393 million annually and be taxed at a 20% on revenues.

Sen. Marsh hopes that he can use the funding to help underfunded areas in the state prosper.

MGM Resorts Takes $1bn Hit to Bottom Line

The year 2020 has been difficult for gambling companies. MGM Resorts International has posted a massive $1 billion loss for the year, with the pandemic disrupting business in the United States.

However, the company is optimistic about its prospects. MGM Resorts sold and leased back MGM Grand Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay in a bid to minimize dependency on its retail portfolio, which was a clever move given the push towards online operations.

Yet, the company posted total revenue decline amounting to 60% to $5.2 billion. Nevertheless, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle remains fairly confident that the company can see the situation through in 2021 and move forward on a stronger footing.

Even though the company will miss out on income from the Chinese New Year in Macau, the company is looking forward to a recent decision by Gov. Steve Sisolak to boost capacity and restart visitations to the Silver State.

Buoyant about the upcoming March Madness season, MGM’s sportsbooks are yet to see a serious boost, not counting the already booked Super Bowl event which drew a record-high online betting turnout.

Evolution Smashes All Results Boosted by Online Growth

Evolution has been enjoying a steadfast growth in operational results, bolstered by demand for interactive gaming products all throughout 2020. The 12 months ending on December 13 brought on €561.1 million or up the heady 53.4% from €365.9 million in 2019.

While the company admitted that its own results have been strong throughout the year, it also acknowledged the role that NetEnt acquisition has played in bolstering results. Martin Carlesund was confident that moving forward Evolution would be able to deliver on an even better-honed and tailored live and slot gaming product.

In 2021, the company is expected to ramp up production of its TV Show-styled games, the executive confirmed for the purposes of targeting new audiences and bringing them onboard with the product. Evolution is expecting its strong online growth and key markets such as South America and North America to continue developing in the process.

Kevin was raised on sports since a young teen and following a (fortunate) injury pursued new hobbies in table games such as Blackjack and Poker. Since 2009 Kevin has been writing for casino sites for various big names in the industry and CasinoSites.us is but one of his latest passion projects.