MGM Resorts CEO said the move was "for the good of our employees, guests and communities"

By Benjamin VanHoose
March 16, 2020 08:37 AM

These casinos aren’t willing to take a gamble on the spread of coronavirus.

As more establishments nationwide begin to close their doors in order to help facilitate social distancing and curb the passage of COVID-19, several major casinos on the Las Vegas Strip are following suit. MGM Resorts announced on Sunday that it would temporarily close all Vegas locations beginning Tuesday until further notice.

Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts Jim Murren explained that even though the company took previous precautionary measures while still remaining open, a full closure became the best option. Murren added that the choice was “for the good of our employees, guests and communities.”

“Despite our commitment to dedicating additional resources for cleaning and promoting good health, while making difficult decisions to close certain aspects of our operations, it is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression,” said Murren in a statement.

MGM operates the MGM Grand, Aria, Luxor, Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, New York-New York, Park MGM, Mirage and Bellagio resorts in Vegas.

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MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
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MGM added that it won’t accept reservations prior to May 1, and for travelers to stay up to date in case of any changes in operations.

“This is a time of uncertainty across our country and the globe and we must all do our part to curtail the spread of this virus,” said Murren. “We will plan to reopen our resorts as soon as it safe to do so, and we will continue to support our employees, guests and communities in every way that we can during this period of closure.”

Wynn Resorts also announced that it would be closing on Tuesday, preparing for a two-week shutdown, at the end of which the company will assess the need for additional time. In the company’s statement about the initiative, Wynn said it will continue to pay all full-time employees during the shutdown.

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Ohio, Illinois, California,  Massachusetts and New York City issued orders and recommendations over the weekend to close certain gathering places such as restaurants and bars, in an effort to encourage social distancing and combat the spread of the virus.

As of Monday, there have been at least 3,602 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 66 deaths in the United States, according to a New York Times database. Those most at risk are people over the age of 60, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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