Casino Stocks Slump as Nevada Shuts Down Gambling

Casino stocks were hammered on Wednesday after the governor of Nevada ordered a 30-day freeze on gambling to slow the coronavirus pandemic.
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Casino stocks were hammered by investors on Wednesday after the governor of Nevada ordered a 30-day freeze on gambling in order to slow the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Steve Sisolak's (D) order also mandates a month-long closure of non-essential businesses, such as bars, movie theaters and gyms. Restaurants are allowed to stay open but only for takeout or delivery. 

“This is affecting the lives of our citizens. People are dying. Every day that is delayed here, I’m losing a dozen people on the back end that are going to die as a result of this,” Sisolak said Tuesday. 

At last check MGM Resorts  (MGP) - Get Report shares dropped 28% to $6.90; Las Vegas Sands  (LVS) - Get Report declined 7% to $38,.06; Wynn Resorts  (WYNN) - Get Report fell 13% to $47.60; Boyd Gaming  (BYD) - Get Report dropped 33% to $7.45; Caesars Entertainment  (CZR) - Get Report dropped 25% to $3.75, and Penn National  (PENN) - Get Report dropped 34% to $4.82.

This is the first time Las Vegas will be shut down since John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963.

"I know this directive will cause distress for many of us. But I ask you - what are you willing to do to save your own life and the lives of those you love? We must absolutely take this step for every Nevadan's health and safety.  Please - take this seriously," Sisolak said via Twitter. 

Sisolak went on to say that Tuesday's news conference announcing the closings would likely be his last in-person news conference.

"Let's show the rest of the world our spirit, our sense of community and our resolve to help each other," Sisolak said.