| Concerned visitors in Las Vegas gathered around screens in casino sportsbooks, not to bet on sports games but to watch breaking news of the terrorist attack that has dominated the world headlines. With no NFL, Major League Baseball and major college football games scheduled for this weekend the screens will continue to cover the events triggered by the horrific attack on the US.|
As the nation reels from the shock of the tragedy at the world trade centre, people are gathering to watch the giant screens and console each other. Although some bettors are still wagering on horse racing and the gaming tables remain open, the sombre mood of the nation does not lend itself to entertainment or frivolity.
“It’s been an area where people can gather and comfort each other,” said Debbie Munch, spokesperson for Park Place Entertainment, Which owns Caesars Palace and other major Las Vegas casinos. “Many of our guests are stranded. As the days go on, it’s more difficult for them. More than anything, they want information. It helps prevent panic.”
The Bally’s casino is also filled with tourists unable to return home, but here people are still on the tables and at the machines.
“People are grounded here. They’re in the casinos, enjoying the action,” said Andy
Maiden, Spokesman for Bally. “There is just a different feeling, more of a sombre feeling. Business continues…But I think the nation will remain shell-shocked for a long time.”
Business may still be running, but the economic disruption caused by Tuesdays events is unlikely to pass the gambling industry by. What the impact will be is still unknown, Erika Brandvik, spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said that her group has been unable to make an estimate on the economic impact on Las Vegas so far.
It seems no area of society has been able to escape the knock-on effects, either financial or emotional, of the attack. What the consequences of Tuesdays events upon the gambling industry will be is still an open question, but it is unlikely to get through unscathed.