If Nevada casino operators fail to enforce the mandatory face masks order, they may face disciplinary actions by the Gaming Control Board.
Disciplinary Actions May Be Introduced by Nevada’s Gaming Control Board
The Nevada Gaming Control Board discussed possible disciplinary actions for operators which do not follow the rules for guests wearing masks within their premises. The discussion is a direct consequence from the order issued by Governor Steve Sisolak on Wednesday. According to the order, masks or face coverings must be worn by Nevadans and guests when visiting public places. It’s important to mention that casinos in the Silver State were shutdown back in mid-March in an effort to reduce COVID-19 spread in the state. As of June 4, casinos were allowed to reopen for visitors. However, each operator that has reopened their doors or intends to reopen for visitors must follow strict health and safety protocols.
According to Terry Johnson, Gaming Control Board member, the regulator is currently monitoring the casinos and how they follow post-COVID-19 protocols. Johnson also pointed out that the Gaming Commission might be involved in disciplinary actions when it comes to: “…willful refusal to comply with the governor’s directives.” Sandra Morgan, Gaming Control Board chairwoman also commented on the subject last week. She pointed out that Gaming Commission agents have seen some cases where lack of protection was observed.
The Post-COVID-19 Casino Environment in Nevada
Governor Sisolak’s and Nevada’s officials remain vigilant in the post-COVID-19 environment. With the announcement of mandatory wearing of masks, Governor Sisolak said: “For Nevada to stay safe and stay open, we must make face coverings a routine part of our daily life.” With that being said, we observe that the industry does not oppose those measures. On the contrary, many operators have already taken the necessary steps to ensure protection of their guests and employees. The operators who already have restarted their operations are working at 50% capacity. Furthermore, additional health and safety measures are introduced such as plexiglass spacers and hand sanitizers. Many operators have implemented temperature checks for both employees and visitors.
The casino industry giants Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International agreed with the governor’s decision. The companies vowed to be strict when it comes to wearing masks within their venues. Another casino colossus Caesars Entertainment has announced that guests without a mask will be kindly asked to leave the venues. Focusing on the Las Vegas’ Strip, by now, not even half of the resorts have reopened for visitors. According to Johnson, many operators may need more time before resuming their operations. Johnson did not miss to tell the Gaming Commission administrative issues may arise considering that some operators may stay closed for more than a calendar quarter.