Violent protests could discourage some guests from returning to Las Vegas casinos when they reopen
The violent demonstrations and protests that flared up in wake of the brutal death of George Floyd could discourage some guests from heading back to Las Vegas casinos when they will open their doors to the public, gaming experts warned.
Las Vegas casinos are preparing to resume operations on Thursday, June 4th, after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and the state gaming regulator gave green signal to reopening of nonessential businesses to support the coronavirus-hit struggling economy of the state. The reopening of the casinos is expected to provide a much-needed boost to the state’s gaming and entertainment services-driven economy. However, gaming experts warned that the ongoing violent protests could discourage some gaming enthusiasts from returning to casinos in the Sin City for some more weeks.
Rev. Richard McGowan, a professor of finance at Boston College, warned that the threat of violence will ofcourse keep some guests away from gaming properties. McGowan, who has been closely following national gambling trends for sometime, added that casinos would likely hire more security but that wouldn’t be sensible in this unusual case.
Commenting on the situation, McGowan said, “Usually you would hire more police. But that would not be wise in this case. I guess assuring customers that they are safe in the casinos would be helped by hiring more civilian guards that are less threatening than uniform police. People associate Vegas with a relaxing and fun time. This situation is neither fun nor relaxing.”
However, some experts like Distinguished Fellow Anthony Cabot of Gaming Law at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law, are of the view that the protests would likely not impact the reopening of the Las Vegas Strip casinos as they are situated back from the street and already have advanced security systems. But, he too acknowledged that the reopening journey may be more difficult than previously expected for Las Vegas properties.
The protests erupted after George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died in police custody. He was arrested on 25th of May in Minnesota. During the arrest, he was pinned to the floor by a White police officer. He complained that he was not able to breathe and he died within few minutes.
The following protests turned violent, and the Sin City suffered serious property damages and graffiti, which led many to predict that the brunt of the violence will be experienced by the struggling casino industry as well.
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