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Las Vegas has been turned into a ghost town just 24 hours after Nevada's governor Steve Sisolak shut down all of the state's casinos.
Photos of the casino mecca showed a nearly deserted city with only a handful of people walking along the Strip.
Owners of some casinos put up yellow caution tape around the entrances of buildings while others placed signs informing potential customers of their closures. A closer look into some of the casinos showed empty chairs in front of slot machines.
A sign at the entrance of the MGM Grand reads: 'This property is currently closed. We look forward to welcoming you again.'
On Tuesday, Sisolak shut down all nonessential businesses due to COVID-19. Nevada currently has more than 50 cases of the virus, including one death.
Las Vegas has been turned into a ghost town just 24 hours after Nevada's governor Steve Sisolak shut down all of the state's casinos. A closer look into some of the casinos showed empty chairs in front of slot machines (pictured)
An empty Las Vegas strip is seen during a state wide closure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday
Owners of some casinos put up yellow caution tape around the entrances of buildings while others placed signs informing potential customers of their closures
A sign at the entrance of the MGM Grand (pictured) reads: 'This property is currently closed. We look forward to welcoming you again'
Slot machines were shut down at midnight Tuesday, local time. The casinos, which employ tens of thousands of workers, closed at noon Wednesday
Closure signs were put on the doors at the entrance of the New York-New York Hotel & Casino on Wednesday
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 announcing the 30-day closures at a press conference in Las Vegas.
Slot machines were shut down at midnight Tuesday, local time. The casinos, which employ tens of thousands of workers, closed at noon Wednesday.
The last time casinos closed in Las Vegas was for John F. Kennedy's funeral on November 25, 1963.
Michael Green, a history professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said in an email to The Associated Press Tuesday night that to his knowledge, it was the first time all Nevada casinos have been ordered closed statewide.
He previously said this week's intentional casino closures may be only the fourth since gambling was legalized in Las Vegas in 1931.
'The state occasionally revoked a license and ordered one closed, but nothing like this,' he wrote.
Sisolak added: 'In a time where people are getting sick from simply being near others, this is not the time for gyms to remain open. This is not the time for casinos to remain open.
'This is not a time for community recreation centers, clubhouses, movie theaters and malls to remain open.'
Essential services, such as fire, police, transit and health care services would remain open.
Sisolak also exempted businesses that provide food, shelter, or social services for disadvantaged populations from closing.
He added: 'What are you willing to do to save your life and the life of the ones you love? Please take this seriously. Please stay home for Nevada.'
In response, companies including casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp said they would temporarily shut down their establishments.
'It has become clear that we must take this extreme action to help contain the virus and protect the safety and well-being of our team members and guests,' said Caesars Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Tony Rodio.
Derek Stevens, owner of the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate, said: 'Although this is a devastating time for our country and our community, I'm confident the Las Vegas resiliency will allow us to rise again, stronger than ever.'
The MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts had already said they would be closing temporarily. Wynn Resorts has said it will pay employees for 30 days.
The Hoover Dam, near the Arizona border and another Nevada tourist attraction, is temporarily closing to visitors 'because of the nature of the structure and an inability to implement social distancing standards recommended by the' CDC, according to a statement.
The highly contagious respiratory illness is on the rise in the US, with more than 9,000 people infected and nearly 150 dead.
Following the decision to shut all casinos on the strip the American Gaming Association said: 'Nevada is the epicenter of the resilient American gaming industry.
'The federal government must act swiftly to bring relief to our friends, neighbors, and colleagues in Nevada and all across America whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by these hard but necessary actions.'
The shutdown of the multi-billion-dollar industry is a hammer blow for the city's tourism and entertainment sectors as hotel occupancy rates have already begun to nosedive.