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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Casinos Are Back, Now Do Sports

At 11:59 PM last night I was standing in a line of about 100 people outside Red Rock Casino. It was out of sheer curiosity, wondering what casinos would look like under the new normal in the post-pandemic world.

Like everyone, I’ve seen the pictures and videos of giant glass shields covering the tables and I’ve heard the horror stories of potential hygiene-related rules that will be put in place. I was ready for the worst.

I’ve been to grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, restaurants, retail shops, and pretty much every other place I’d normally visit in my daily life and the changes are noticeable. So I expected the casino, a place that’s essentially built on people touching common objects, to be completely unnoticeable to what I remembered before they were forced to shut down 79 days ago.

Midnight hit and the line started moving towards the door. In eight minutes, I found myself standing about 10 feet away from a machine that took my temperature. Two seconds later, I was cleared to enter, as was every other person in the line, and free to walk about the casino.

Every machine was on; chairs at every other one. Same at the bar, which was already full of people ordering drinks and tapping the machines in front of them. Table games were open, with fewer chairs, but running the same way they always were with people touching cards, chips, and dice. Despite a lack of live programming on the TV’s, even the sportsbook was open and seemingly operating as usual.

It was shockingly normal.

Which got me thinking about hockey.

It felt like overnight we went from ordinary life to shutting down every possible avenue people had to have fun. At my local park, they locked the doors to the pool, took down the nets on the tennis courts, and even ripped the hoops off the backboards of the basketball court.

Not only had professional sports in pretty much every country halted, but it wasn’t even okay for anyone to play sports on their own for a while there. Don’t throw the football, don’t kick the soccer ball, and don’t you even dare think about getting on the ice.

Sports were under siege. Actually, no, sports were successfully snuffed out and it all happened in about a week.

They told us it was paused, but in the back of everyone’s mind was the same thought. “Whenever sports do resume, will they ever look the same?”

Casinos were equally snuffed out. With sports, they are both massive businesses that generate absurd amounts of money, but unlike “essential businesses” the world can live without them.

We just don’t want to.

Strolling around the casino gave me hope. There were new restrictions and policies in place, but the casino felt very much like what it did before. If the casinos can return, maybe sports are right around the corner. And not sports on TV in closed arenas. Sports with 17,500 people screaming when a goofy knight pulls a sword out of a stone.

Seeing the return of casinos gave me hope that this was a fleeting moment in time and that time has passed. That the precautions which were put in place either worked perfectly or were a massive overreaction.

My hope is that in the near future we’ll all be able to walk into T-Mobile Arena and feel the way I did entering Red Rock last night. I felt like casinos had returned and it gave me my first real sense of belief that the city I love will return too.

The next piece of the puzzle is sports, specifically hockey. Hopefully, that return is just as triumphant.

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27 Comments

  1. Mikegron32

    Thanks Ken
    I could not agree with you more and can totally relate to what you are saying. I work at McCarran Airport every day. Today was the first time things felt “normal” again. Passengers laughing and taking photo ops. Southwest was doing prize give aways at baggage claim. It felt like the first breath of life being put back in to our city and it made me smile.
    I’m sure this thread will also have plenty of doom and gloom responses, but I for one couldn’t be happier to see the casinos back open and if T Mobile opened tomorrow for a VGK game I would be there

    • Thanks Mike. I felt the same way. There was happiness in the air, it was great.

      • DOC Williams

        Happiness is not the only thing that was IN THE AIR! Enjoy, and come back on say July 1st, and tell me again about what was in the air!

        • Nick

          Shut up Doc.

          • DOC Williams

            Don’t like the truth Nick? Can’t deal in reality? YOU shut up!

        • Jeff

          Yea shut it down forever and just kill Las Vegas once and for all. Let the sand blow over it and call it a day so that less than 1/10 of 1% of people can feel their lives aren’t in danger by the invisible killer. That’s a much better solution than just tellIn those at risk to protect themselves.

  2. Rabbit

    It seems like most of the country is so fatigued from the ongoing isolation that they want to believe that the height of the danger from Covid-19 has passed because restrictions have been lifted. This is natural for people to assume, as they trust in their elected officials to make decisions in their best interests. However, the truth is far more complicated. In point of fact, the danger of contracting Covid-19 in Las Vegas is greater now than it was Mid-March when the restrictions were originally put in place. The statistics showed that social distancing works.

    Prediction: The second wave will dwarf the first wave.
    Additional Prediction: Restrictions will not be put back into place and American society will simply accept the horrific death toll.

    • Mikegron32

      And here we go. .. my hell that was even worse than I expected lol

    • Willy

      How is it worse? Back in mid-March there were zero efforts to: get tested, socially distance, wear masks, limit capacity, wash your hands, consider if you had symptoms, consider staying home instead of going out, get temperature checks, stop hugging others, stop shaking hands or high fives, and…on and on.

      • THE hockey GOD

        I hear ya Willy. Also the healthcare organizations in USA are “cooking the books” and inflating the deaths in order to collect the government money. You get hit by a car, and die, but you have had slightest molecule of Corona in it, they list it as CV death.

        It’s not a hoax, the virus is there, but it’s a scam in the way that they are reporting.

    • vegas fan in minny

      rabbit put your mask on get back in your basement see you in December you scared human

    • DOC Williams

      Thanks Rabbit ….. Finally some common sense thinking!

  3. Willy

    Baby steps, but I think we aren’t too far away from at least some attendance, maybe NFL and NCAA Football can lead the way. It may be about 4-6 weeks of limited attendance in a sport leading to something like half capacity and then in a few months the potential for near or full capacity. There will still be some people who aren’t comfortable at any of these stages and teams should be reasonable and allow them to skip a season or some games without losing priority, but give it time and fans at the games will be a reality because having fans around is at the essence of having team sports. There would be no TV coverage if these sports ever developed with no fan presence. So just putting on a game to make sure you collect TV money is not going to be satisfying for us for very long.

  4. THE hockey GOD

    Nice article ! If you can stand in line to a) riot/loot /pillage/kill business owners/burn up buildings and act like a lib tard toon b) post office c) casino d) grocery store e ) DMV or F) unemployment line.

    THEN YOU CAN STAND IN LINE TO VOTE !!! Hello…….

  5. Coyote

    Wow, the level of stupid in these comments is strong. Quit drinking the FAUX NEWS koolaid. If anything the cases and deaths have been under reported to open up sooner. I hope people do remember to vote in November, after seeing how leaders in DC failed miserably. If sports had to be shut down for awhile, so be it. Previous generations dealt with world wars, depressions, pandemics. They had to sacrifice a lot. You had to give up little for a few months, and you’re crying about it. Snowflakes.

    • Jeff

      Actually the “faux news” created the problem in the first place. The virus is still only deadly to less than 1/10th of 1%. Every single year over 2.5 million people die for various reasons in the US. COVID is just a drop in the bucket. The problem of over crowding hospitals seems to be worked out and that was the reason for the shut down in the first place. The amount of deaths and infections are really insignificant stats as long as the hospitals handle the traffic (not to insult or be insensitive to those who have lost loved ones but people lose loved ones everyday….I lost my father and grand mother over the past 3 months. …not to COVID). That’s fact

      • Coyote

        Jeff,
        Sincerely sorry to hear about your father and grandmother. I don’t agree with your numbers. It is not 1/10th of 1%. Based on the numbers of people who were/are infected and the numbers of people confirmed dead due to the virus (according to worldometers), the death rate is 13%. That percentage is happily going down as more people recover. 36 military personnel have died of covid. This disease kills more than just “those at risk.” Your numbers are based on using the total population numbers, I assume. If we hadn’t shut down, I can safely say the numbers of infected and dead would have been much higher. We’re still learning about it, how it spreads, etc. We shouldn’t recklessly mess up now and have a second wave hit. I understand people need the economy to come back. I think it needs to be brought back with better planning than we did during the shut down. I can’t believe people refuse to wear masks, congregate in large groups, and stand close to people in stores, super markets, etc. At least where I live in Northern Nevada that happens.

        I don’t like that this has become a political issue. It would be awesome to be able to safely have full crowds in casinos and stadiums, etc. People’s lives shouldn’t be put at risk for that to happen. (I also understand your point that people die of other causes every year. But don’t we caution against smoking, try to develop safer cars, try to eat better and get exercise to avoid them?)

        • Jeff

          110,000/326,000,000=.000337 or .03% of the total population COVID is fatal. For 1/10th of 1% 326,000 people have to die from COVID.

          • Jeff

            In other words like I said it’s a VERY small percentage in relationship to the population. The cure has been worse than the disease. I almost lost my business and I’m in construction. 10’s of 1,000’s of businesses supporting all of you wanting to stay home and collect government subsidized payments are gone forever. That free money is coming to an end soon because the US just doesn’t have the tax revenue to back it up with all the businesses lost. That’s fact. Life is a risky thing. Risk/reward…if you don’t live with some risk your rewards are going to be that much lower. I’m all for the ones who want to stay home…have at it. Don’t make the rest of us who are willing to most likely at the worst get a severe flu have to stay home too.

            I’m sure ken doesn’t want his site to be a forum for COVID so I’ll just leave my opinion at that.

          • HC

            Jeff it seems like you’re assuming with your figures that every single person in this country has been exposed to the virus, which is obviously not the case. Math is hard, right? Let’s trust the experts in the field and not the assholes in office who seek to politicize everything.

            Current facts as of 6/6/20
            Total US cases- 1,783,132
            Total US deaths-104,166

            Even the most rudimentary math skills will tell you that is not “less than 1/10th of 1%“

            Ken why do you provide a forum for this bullshit?

          • People are entitled to their opinions. If they post facts you believe to be inaccurate, call em out.

          • Jeff

            ‘Hey HC how many people have died from COVID?”
            ‘Yea Jeff approximately 110,000.”
            “Hey HC how many people live in the United States”
            “Yea Jeff about 365 million.”
            “Hey Jeff what percentage of the population has COVID been fatal to?”
            “Well HC 110,000/365,000,000 = .000301 which is .0301%”
            ‘Hey Jeff is that less that 1/10th of 1% of the total population?”
            “Hey HC I believe it is, wow math is hard isn’t it HC?”

            Learn to read. I didn’t get into any other stats beside deaths compared to total population.

            What kills Americans each year (apx numbers):
            Heart Disease – 645,000
            Cancer – 598,000
            Accidents 161,000

            My only point was/is that COVID is a drop in the bucket of what kills Americans and it’s a VERY small percentage of Americans.

            I have a simple solution, if you’re scared stay home I’m totally ok with it. Don’t force me to sit at home because I’m willing to accept some risk by walking out the front door.

            What was bullshit about those numbers now?

            I’m done…your ignorance forced me to answer you. Sorry Ken

      • THE hockey GOD

        “Actually the “faux news” created the problem in the first place” bull spit, it’s the CHINESE WUHAN CORONA COVID virus, “faux news” has nothing to do with it. Wake up. FACT there is no vaccine. FACT most of the virus deaths are in blue run communities , not “faux news” communities. Try to get it right next time.

        • Coyote

          Are you serious? There were more deaths in urban areas, as is true in every pandemic in history. Urban areas tend to be blue. The virus doesn’t care if it’s a red or blue area; it spreads more where there’s more people. The fact that Faux News was spreading the talking point for weeks that it was no big deal did effect people’s perceptions, in a problematic way.

    • DOC Williams

      Thank you COYOTE !!!!!!

  6. sb

    Way over reaction to the virus. In public, not contracting the disease is easy. Simply wear a mask, have a small spray bottle of 90% alcohol, wash your hands, stay back from other people. People do not contract the virus by being outdoors in the fresh air. The Chinese did a study and found that 98% of all infections came from two sources – in the home and in public transportation. Put on a mask, spray your hands with alcohol frequently and have spacing between people. And live sports with fans at 50% capacity. Poverty will kill many times more Americans than the virus.

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