MGM Vegas casinos to shutter due to virus: chairman

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Several Las Vegas casinos and hotels including venues on the city's main strip will close their doors in an effort to prevent spread of the deadly coronavirus, MGM said Sunday.

"It is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression," Jim Murren, chairman of MGM Resorts, said in a statement.

"Accordingly, we will close all of our Las Vegas properties as of Tuesday, March 17th, for the good of our employees, guests and communities," Murren said, adding the company intends to re-open the facilities "as soon as it is safe."

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new nationwide guidance recommending that organizers cancel or postpone any events gathering 50 people or more -- with the exception of day-to-day activities in education or business.

New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city's famed bars and restaurants would be restricted to take-out or delivery, and that nightclubs, movie theaters, theaters and concert venues must close.

Schools, museums, sports arenas and entertainment venues have already closed in many US states.