Attorney Says Vegas Clarke County Bars to Open on Thursday

Dennis Kennedy, an attorney who sued Nevada over bars closure, has said on Tuesday that Vegas-area bars may start reopening as early as Thursday night.

Vegas Area Bars May Reopen Tonight

Las Vegas bars may reopen tonight, says Dennis Kennedy, an attorney who sued the state over Gov. Steve Sisolak’s forceful shutdown of watering holes in the Silver State and the Vegas area specifically.

Even though another judge ruled not to repeal the governor’s ban on bars, Kennedy has reasons to believe that the ban could be lifted later tonight, he said on Tuesday, cited by the Associated Press. Clark County District Court Judge Kerry Earley said on Monday that the governor was in his right to issue an order and shut down bars if he found it necessary in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kennedy’s claim was without merit.

According to Kennedy, the order, issued last Friday, is now set to expire, unless a special task assess the case load in Clark County and deems it necessary to extend any restrictive measures.

The task force, though, will meet later today, and just hours before the restrictions expire. As to the owners, they seem to be ready, the attorney said:

“You can be sure the bar owners are going to be there to say. ‘We’re ready to go and we’ll comply with all the laws.’ They’re ready to open.”

If the current restrictions are lifted, businesses will be allowed to reopen and comply with previously introduced measures on May 29. The governor has not commented on whether continuing operations in Vegas bars was imminent.

Was Closing the Bars the Right Decision?

Bars were also given a go-ahead by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) to operate stand-alone slots earlier this week. According to the previous restrictions, bars won’t be able to serve food and they will have to operate at 50% of capacity, still better than casino’s 25% occupancy limit.

Patrons must be six feet apart and wear face masks. Sitting at the bar is allowed provided that the social distancing measures are upheld. According to Judge Earley, the fight against the pandemic was evolving with new measures introduced to respond to changes in the behavior of the virus and infection rate.

The governor has also not been entirely sure of the initial strategy that saw bars originally close completely for 48 days before reopening on June 30 and suspended once again on July 10 in a rollercoaster of rash but necessary decisions. Bars stayed closed through most of July and August.

Gov. Sisolak is now exploring a more proactive approach towards mask-wearing and social distancing. The governor wants to enforce the rules in full and issue harsh penalties against repeat offenders. This approach seems more intuitive than suspending business en masse.

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