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Boyd Gaming casinos in 4 states closing due to coronavirus

Updated March 15, 2020 - 10:07 am

Boyd Gaming Corp. casinos in four states are closing or have already closed, a spokesman for the Las Vegas-based company said Sunday.

The closures, ordered by gaming regulators in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, don’t affect Boyd’s 12 Southern Nevada properties.

In Southern Nevada, Boyd operates The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam’s Town and Eastside Cannery in Las Vegas, the California, Main Street Station and the Fremont in downtown Las Vegas, Aliante and the Cannery in North Las Vegas, and Joker’s Wild and Eldorado in Henderson.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Saturday also ordered three casinos in that state closed, but Boyd doesn’t operate any of them. MGM Resorts International’s MGM Springfield in western Massachusetts, Wynn Resort Ltd.’s Encore Boston Harbor and Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming’s Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, were ordered temporarily closed Sunday morning.

Boyd’s Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, closed Friday and is expected to reopen in two weeks.

The company’s Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in East Peoria, Illinois, is closing Sunday at midnight for two weeks.

The Illinois Gaming Board on Friday ordered the state’s 10 casinos to suspend gambling operations for two weeks with a March 30 reopening date. In addition to the Boyd property, two casinos in Illinois are operated by Caesars Entertainment Corp., three by Penn National and another by Reno-based Eldorado Resorts Inc.

Boyd’s Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa in Michigan City, Indiana, and the Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Indiana, will close Monday at 6 a.m., for two weeks.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, a big supporter of Las Vegas sports franchises and a major donor to UNLV, also announced Saturday that the tribe would temporarily close its San Manuel Casino in Highland, California, Sunday at 5 p.m., in an effort to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

In Nevada, the Nevada Gaming Commission has no plans to close the state’s 440 licensed nonrestricted casino properties. The commission is next scheduled to meet Thursday.

While casinos have not been ordered to close, several companies have begun taking their own steps to protect against the economic fallout expected to follow the tourism downturn anticipated with the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus that last week was declared a worldwide pandemic.

At MGM Resorts International, layoffs began Friday.

A letter sent Friday evening to the company’s workforce from MGM President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Hornbuckle, obtained by the Review-Journal, said about 150 food and beverage outlets would be closed Monday, with more closing on a rolling basis, and that the company will temporarily close its MGM Northfield Park property in Ohio.

Layoffs have begun “in areas most immediately impacted by the slowdown in demand,” the letter said.

The company is closing its dayclubs and nightclubs companywide and Cirque du Soleil, a staple entertainment offering at several MGM properties, will suspend shows for 30 days and furlough entertainers and show technicians.

A Luxor employee and a Wet Republic pool worker at the MGM Grand have tested positive for the virus.

Wynn Las Vegas and Encore are closing their nightclubs and theaters as well as their race and sportsbook and poker room. Wynn CEO Matt Maddox said Wynn employees would continue to be paid through the closures.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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