Several casino companies saw their stock value rise on Monday as Nevada authorities effected a capacity boost, letting casinos and restaurants operate at 50% of their regular customer volume. Some of the gainers included Caesars Entertainment (CZR -0.92%), Wynn Resorts (WYNN 1.14%), MGM Resorts International (MGM 0.33%), and Boyd Gaming (BYD 0.25%), as people flocked to the glitz of "Sin City" to spend their cash on the world-famous Strip, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
The capacity increase went into effect on Monday. The numbers allowed inside a building were based on the limits set in the fire code. Capacity was set at 25% since November 2020, but the Nevada government increased this to 35% on March 1 and now to 50% as of March 15. One day before, on March 14, COVID-19 activity remained low, with one death and 222 new cases for the entire state, The Daily Mail reports.
Large numbers of visitors descended on the city yesterday both ahead of and after the official capacity increase, with many anecdotal reports of crowds almost as dense and parking lots almost as full as under normal conditions, The Independent reports. The Nevada government says it will raise allowed capacity even more on May 1 if the coronavirus situation doesn't deteriorate in the meantime.
Gamblers appear eager to return to Las Vegas and fill the coffers of casino companies in person, despite the strong rise in digital gambling and sports betting legalization in 20 U.S. states. Caesars' CEO reported bookings for 2021's second half are up 32% from the same six-month period in 2019, and expects excellent results for casino operators from July onward.