- Nevada’s gaming industry reopened on June 4th following a shutdown of more than two months.
- On June 17, the Nevada Gaming Control Board issued revised guidance requiring that all table game players wear masks.
- Caesars Entertainment is the first casino company requiring that all guests wear masks.
With a number of areas across the United States experiencing an alarming spike in coronavirus cases many states and cities are re-thinking their approach to reopening their economies and enforcing social distancing. Some cities and states have started to require that masks be worn in all public places. In Nevada, there is no official mandate that masks be worn though there has been speculation that Governor Steve Sisolak is contemplating such a move. At least one major casino company isn’t waiting for that to happen.
On Wednesday, Caesars Entertainment announced that effective immediately all guests will be required to wear masks. This applies not only to their eight Las Vegas gaming properties but to all Caesars Entertainment properties in the United States as well as Caesars Windsor in Canada. The company has reopened properties in Louisiana, Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, and Indiana, as well as tribal properties in Arizona, California and North Carolina. The mask requirement will go into effect at properties in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois and Ontario once they reopen.
Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio explained the decision in a press release:
“We promised that Caesars would continue to evaluate the latest recommendations, directives and medical science regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and modify our enhanced health and safety protocols accordingly. As a result, we are immediately requiring everyone in our properties to wear masks, because the scientific evidence strongly suggests that wearing masks and practicing social distancing may be the most important deterrents to spreading COVID-19 from person to person,” he added.
The only time that masks will not be required is when employees or guests are eating and drinking. The updated policy applies to all employees, vendors, contractors, guests and patrons inside the properties. Those who refuse to wear a face covering will shown the door.
CORONAVIRUS CASES SURGE IN SOUTHERN NEVADA
Like many parts of the country, Southern Nevada has seen an upswing in the number of positive COVID-19 tests in the past week. Monday and Tuesday saw over 400 new cases a day reported in Clark County (Nevada’s most populous county and home to Las Vegas, Henderson and Laughlin). Tuesday’s 412 new cases was a one day record. Although the case count dropped to 295 on Wednesday there is abundant concern throughout the state. County health officials did give the caveat about Monday and Tuesday’s high number of new cases that it could be partially due to a backlog in reporting that occurs over the weekend.
Last week, the Nevada Gaming Control Board issued revised guidance requiring all table game players to wear masks. Previously, the mask requirement was ‘suggested’ though properties were free to implement their own guidelines. Wynn Resorts, for example, required mask of all table game players prior to the official mandate from gaming regulators. There is speculation that the Gaming Control Board will announce a statewide mask requirement though for now the official word is ‘no comment’.
Nevada State Government could beat them to it. Governor Steve Sisolak has scheduled a 5 PM Pacific press conference to discuss coronavirus prevention measures. The press conference comes one week after Sisolak directed his health advisors to review ‘enhanced face covering’ guidelines that would be applicable statewide. There’s a possibility that some type of expansion could be announced tonight.