Las Vegas: Update on the current situation
Lately there has been exciting news around around Vegas. Some of this news will alarm any casino fan, while other news will raise new hopes. However, even experts cannot assess how the casino resorts in Las Vegas will continue.
Las Vegas is suffering from the corona pandemic
One Extremely bad news caused an uproar a few days ago. Las Vegas is now compared to a ghost town. Despite the opening of the casino resorts, they have to cope with strict regulations, which leads to considerable losses. Thus, only autilization of 35 percent is still permissible. As a result, not only the hotels are underutilized. Accordingly, fewer guests flock to the casinos.
As dramatic as the occupancy limit for the casinos is, the impact on the entire city is just as drastic. Many do not consider that casino guests arrive by plane, for example. Taxi companies had benefited from this. In addition, the guests did not only go to the casinos or hotels to eat.In general, the nightlife in Las Vegas almost came to a standstill. A celebrity performing as Elvis in Las Vegas said: It usually takes an hour and a half to drive down the Vegas Strip because of the heavy traffic. Now 30 minutes is enough to get from one end to the other.
The inhabitants are particularly affected. MGM laid off tens of thousands of employees last year. And most restaurants and bars are also working on the back burner and only offer their services by the hour. This leads to a smaller number of employees. Because of this, thenumber of homeless people has already increased. This is truly neither a pretty sight nor good news for Las Vegas.
Casinos offer corona tests as a solution strategy
SomeCasinos in Las Vegas offer their own corona tests. With this idea not only the guests should be reassured. It is a small attempt to contain the corona pandemic. The low utilization limit is largely due to the fact that even experts fear contagion within the casinos. However, if all guests are tested before entering the casino, the risk of infection is reduced. In this case, only those who have tested negative are allowed to enter the casino.
TheCosmopolitan in Las Vegas offers 24-hour Corona testing. For this purpose, the casino operator has set up its own test center, which, by the way, may not only be used by its own guests. The public also has access to this and can be tested around the clock.
MGM also offers test options, but not in its own casino. This casino operator offers a ride to the nearest test center. It is questionable whether this test option will be used as readily as the in-house tests at Cosmopolitan. If you need a confirmation for the airline with which you are going to travel home, you could use the service. Because in theUSA the airlines demand a negative result. So does the state of Hawaii, which requires all return travelers to have a negative test result within 72 hours.
The tests offered have one small disadvantage: You have to pay for them yourself and they cost between 90 and 100 dollars. It therefore remains to be seen how many guests will use this idea and respond to it if the result is appropriate.
Sands withdraws from Las Vegas
The next message is basically not news. Sands has had plans for years to pull out of Las Vegas and expand its presence in Asia. The focus here is on Macau and Singapore. Because of this, Sands already owns three casinos in Macau and one in Singapore. The late company founder Adelson Sheldon had the plan to sell the casinos in Las Vegas andfocus on Asia. The currently incumbent CEO is now fulfilling this wish and describes it as the heir of the company founder.
The purchase price is estimated at more than 6 billion US dollars. This high sum limits the circle of buyers. However, Sands remains on the ball and is in close contact with Apollo and VICI Properties. It would be beneficial for Sands if the sale were completed quickly as this company couldpay off much of the debt.
In addition, in recent years, Sands has only generated 13 percent of its total sales in Las Vegas. Most of the earnings have already come from Macau and Singapore. Macau could recover faster from the corona pandemic compared to Las Vegas. A great advantage of this peninsula lies in thesights that Las Vegas does not have. As a result, tourism could recover faster. It is possible that Sands is now rapidly selling the casinos for this reason. Nobody can currently estimate how long the coronavirus will continue to be rampant and when an economic recovery can be expected.