- 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.
- Earlier this week Caesars Entertainment became the first casino company to require that all guests wear masks.
Earlier this week, Caesars Entertainment became the first Nevada casino company to require that guests at their North American properties wear masks. On Wednesday, MGM Resorts followed suit announcing an identical policy for all of their US properties. The policy began on Friday and like Caesars any guest that doesn’t mask up will be exited from the property.
The MGM policy is simple but unequivocal:
Masks are required for all guests inside public spaces at all MGM Resorts properties across the United States. Employees will be required to wear an approved mask while working at one of our properties. Gloves will continue to be worn by employees who require them to do their jobs.
The press release announcing the policy change included this unattributed quote:
“As part of our work to continually update and evolve our health and safety policies, we are now requiring masks for all guests and visitors inside public spaces. This will apply to all MGM Resorts properties across the United States and will become effective by Friday. If a guest is in need of a mask, we will provide one. We hope that our guests will do their part to help the collective efforts to curtail the spread of the virus. Guests who do not wish to comply will be asked to leave the property. “
It is clear that the coronavirus still presents a significant public health threat, and masks have proven to be one of the best ways to curtail the spread. We want guests and employees to feel comfortable that we are putting their health and safety first.”
MGM Resorts has 13 properties in the Las Vegas area, six of which have reopened: Bellagio, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Luxor, Excalibur and the non-gaming Signature at MGM Grand all suite hotel. The Aria, Mandalay Bay and Delano Las Vegas are scheduled to reopen on July 1. Elsewhere in the United States, the Gold Strike and Beau Rivage in Mississippi have reopened as well as MGM Northfield Park in Ohio. MGM National Harbor in Maryland has their reopening scheduled for June 29 and the Borgata in Atlantic City will reopen on July 6.
In Nevada, the MGM Resorts edict is a bit redundant. On Thursday, Governor Steve Sisolak announced that he had signed a directive requiring face coverings in public:
“I don’t know why or when protecting our health and our neighbors’ lives became a political, partisan or even philosophical decision. For me it’s none of those. It’s a medical necessity, a human obligation, and it’s good for business.”
“This order is a mandate for folks to wear mask. The mandate is put on individuals and on businesses. We’re hoping that they will understand the severity of the situation and voluntarily wear masks. It works. I mean every responsible medical professional will tell you a mask helps reduce the spread of an infectious disease. Anyone who’s denying that is just denying reality.”
Shameless opportunists in both major parties have attempted to politicize every aspect of the coronavirus pandemic including the wearing of masks. Sisolak admonished those who had relegated public health to ‘partisan issue’ status:
“(It’s) discouraging that this has become a partisan issue about whether or not people want to wear a mask. This isn’t about partisanship; it’s not who you’re going to vote for for president. It’s not about your rights … this is about protecting the health and well-being of everybody that you come in contact with. That’s what we’re talking about.”
For now, the police departments in the major cities in Clark County–Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas–have announced that they’ll not criminally enforce Sisolak’s mask degree but use it as an opportunity to ‘educate’.