Casinos in Las Vegas Increasing Recruitment in Anticipation of a Return to 100% Capacity

| April 26, 2021 5:42 am PDT

Effective May 1, 2021, Nevadans expecting their next unemployment check will discover that they are now required to seek employment to justify that check.

That should not be a problem since that requirement has been SOP for decades in pretty much all states, including Nevada until 2020 changed everything.

That was when Nevada — where a huge chunk of employable adults work for companies whose life’s-blood is the leisure and hospitality industry — suspended the “look for work” rule for the obvious reason that there were simply no jobs to be had.

Every casino resort, from the Bellagio to the Dotty’s on the corner, was shut down completely for four deadly months back in 2020. Most have recovered only partially due to capacity limits imposed by state and county governments.

Some did not survive the ordeal, and even those that did saw many of their tenants, such as restaurants and retail shops, simply fade away.

To look at that from a different perspective, in March 2021, unemployment among those involved in the leisure and hospitality industry was at a gobsmacking 28.4%.

In comparison, the nation’s peak unemployment rate during the Great Depression was 25.6% (May 1933), according to data from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The Great Depression lasted for ten years. Just over a year into the lockdown, Nevada is already beginning to see plenty of signs that the pandemic-inspired self-depression of business could soon be a thing of the past.

The shift to normalcy began back in March when an edict from Carson City, the seat of Nevada’s government, allowed casinos and many other businesses to operate at much higher capacities (50% rather than the 25% in force since November 2020).

Could the other challenges of social distancing, temperature-taking, and masking-up be next on the agenda, or at least reviewed from a more rational and reasonable perspective?

Well, maybe not. According to a contemporaneous report in the Reno Gazette Journal, the edict declared that “Adult entertainment establishments, day clubs, nightclubs, brothels and karaoke will remain closed through May 1. ”

Perhaps nobody noticed the disparity. In any case, on April 19, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak addressed continuing concerns for the state’s major industries in a press release, wherein he said his goal was to return to 100% capacity at all businesses in the state by June 1st.

He said that one immediate step toward that “goal” would be removing the state’s social distancing requirements as of May 1, 2021.

The press release goes on to note, however, that establishing social distancing requirements would be left to the various county and city governmental entities to enact or ignore.

Speaking of which, Clark County (home of Las Vegas) almost immediately mandated that large gatherings within its borders would be permitted only after 60% of county residents had received the vaccine for COVID-19.

The founders of the Electric Daisy Carnival, scheduled for mid-May, immediately postponed the major event until mid-October. The EDC brings in a reported 400,000-plus visitors to Las Vegas every year.

Despite the confusion, infighting, and lawsuits sure to arise from 16 Nevada counties warring with one another over which has the better mask requirements, businesses in Nevada, particularly in Las Vegas, slouch toward normalcy.

For example, MGM Resorts, the largest employer in Nevada, is joining the hiring frenzy, although its executives are lamenting the fact that many of the 28,000 employees its “furloughed” last year appear to have gone on to find other jobs.

Meanwhile, the newly constructed Resorts World Las Vegas, which plans a June 24 soft opening, has already received more than 85,000 applications for its offering of about 6,000 jobs.

J.W. Paine
J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with thoroughbred horseracing, poker, blackjack, and slots.

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