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Casino industry in Nevada continues to boom, permanent COVID-19 protocols considered

Casino industry in Nevada continues to boom, permanent COVID-19 protocols considered
Posted at 6:36 AM, Nov 16, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A new report published by the American Gaming Association shows U.S. casinos are on track to break revenue records in 2021.

The nation’s commercial casinos won nearly $14 billion in the third quarter alone. Nevada casinos won over $1 billion last month.

The steady growth in revenue is a major contrast to what the gaming and hospitality industries experienced at the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The biggest challenge for us is the uncertainty. We don’t know what could happen with mask-wearing or even staying open,” said Tim Brooks, the CEO of the Rainbow Club and Island Casinos.

Brooks said the pandemic forced casinos to shift away from how they would normally operate and believes some of the changes could be permanent.

“We had to make a lot of safety adjustments. Cleaning and sanitizing is top of mind, always,” Brooks said.

Many casinos are providing games that don't require them to travel throughout the building. They’re also maintaining a steady level of decontamination throughout the gaming areas and setting up safety barriers between equipment.

“I'll be honest with you, most of the things I've heard from visitors have not been positive. They don’t like what’s happening, they don’t want to be told what to do, what to wear, where to go,” Brooks said.

Brooks said while everyone may not be on board with the changes, that isn’t stopping people from visiting casinos. Brooks believes pent-up demand among pandemic-weary customers played a big role in the industry’s resurgence as restrictions were lifted.

“We've seen the most significant growth, in our late night early morning business,” Brooks said.