U.S.-based casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp announced on Tuesday that it would be closing its Venetian and Palazzo resorts (pictured) in Las Vegas, Nevada, until at least April 1. The measure is to be implemented “in line with recent guidance from federal and state governments” regarding efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, said the company in a written announcement.
Las Vegas Sands is the parent of Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd.
In Tuesday’s statement, Las Vegas Sands said that a “decision on whether to extend the closure or reopen will be made at a later date”. The firm added: “The process of closing the properties will begin immediately and be completed as soon as possible.”
The company further noted it was “committed to paying its team members” during the closure of the properties. “No lay-offs or furloughs are being contemplated and the closure will not impact healthcare eligibility,” the company stated.
Market rivals Wynn Resorts Ltd and MGM Resorts International had announced earlier this week the suspension of operations at their respective properties in Las Vegas, amid concerns linked to the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Both operators had also temporarily closed their properties in other states within the U.S. market.
Las Vegas Sands’ statement quoted the group’s president and chief operating officer Rob Goldstein as saying: “These are clearly challenging times for our country and our community… our most important commitment is the one we have made to the health and safety of our team members and guests. Right now, the best way to fulfil that commitment is by asking people to not come to work.”
The executive added: “While we hope this closure is a short-term necessity, we are realistic it may be a prolonged event. Our team members and their families will rightly be concerned about their health and safety, but we do not want them worried about their jobs, income or healthcare.”
Las Vegas Sands also announced it was donating US$250,000 to several local organisations to help “serve the community” during the health alert period.
Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that some casino operators were drawing down credit facilities available to them, in a bid to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, which might have an extended negative affect on the tourism and entertainment industries.
The media outlet said Caesars Entertainment Corp confirmed on Monday that it would tap more than US$1.15 billion from its revolving credit lines, and that MGM Resorts International was planning to draw down as much as US$1.5-billion of its backup loans.
Bloomberg News had previously reported – citing people familiar with the matter – that Wynn Resorts was planning to draw down a portion of a US$850-million revolving credit line. Wynn Resorts - the parent of Macau operator Wynn Macau Ltd - declined to comment when approached by GGRAsia.
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