Further restrictions for casinos in Nevada are entering from Tuesday after Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a three-week statewide pause in a late Sunday virtual press conference. Casinos will have to limit their capacity to 25% due to the spike in the daily number of new coronavirus cases.
Rising New Daily Virus Cases
Having daily number of new virus cases above 2,000 for 4 out of the last 7 days showed the state entered a “red zone”, Sisolak outlined during the press conference online. Earlier in the month, he hinted at possible new restrictions coming in an attempt to flatten the curve.
Instead of imposing a statewide lockdown this time, the governor elected for a 3-week pause, including a mandatory wearing of masks for all Nevada residents and visitors to the state at all times, as well as a further reduction of the capacity levels for all businesses and gathering areas from 50% to 25%.
Restaurants and bars, including those at casino resorts, will also face the same cap on presence, in addition to the need for reservations and the limit of four guests per table, Gov. Sisolak said highlighting the importance of the casino industry for the state economy.
“Our casinos, hotels, restaurants, and bars are open with strict restrictions so that we can protect our economy.”Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak
Sisolak suggested casinos utilize their surveillance and accounting systems to calculate the number of slot machines being played at a time, as well as the total number of patrons on a casino floor, sending a sound warning to all gaming establishments that the new capacity restrictions will be enforced with the help of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB).
NGCB Understands Its Role
“The Board will vigorously enforce the Governor’s newly announced gaming floor occupancy restrictions among gaming licensees and asks for the industry’s assistance.”Brin Gibson, Chairman, Nevada Gaming Control Board
The chairman of the control board further elaborated that the return towards current gaming floor occupancy depends on the successful mitigation of the current spike in the virus cases over the next three weeks, noting that casino operators have the ability to keep the number of patrons capped accordingly all the time.
Nevada Resort Association Supports the Measures
The President of the Nevada Resort Association Virginia Valentine issued a statement after the new measures were announced by Gov. Sisolak, pointing out the governor had given careful and thoughtful consideration, in line with the advice from medical experts and emergency management officials, as well as his coronavirus task force.
“We understand the governor’s actions seek to balance the best interests of public health with the ongoing economic impacts.”Virginia Valentine, President, Nevada Resort Association
The association members realize the importance to contain the current wave of the virus spread and reverse the new daily rate, urging the public to follow the recommended practices and behaviors along with the industry.