Nevada Regulator Approves Stand-Alone Slots for Bars and Taverns

The Nevada gaming regulator approved stand-alone slots for bars and taverns in the state.  

Stand-Alone Slot Machines for Bars and Taverns Approved by the NGCB

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has announced that bars and taverns can offer stand-alone slot machines. This applies for the gaming operators in the state which have 15 or less restricted gaming machines. Last week, the regulator approved that stand-alone machines can be positioned near the bar area only in order to connect to the venue’s system which manages the slot machines. With that in mind, currently the slot machines which are inserted in the bar top area must remain shut.

Although the regulator approved that the machines may be available for playing, they must be properly distanced with a minimum of six feet apart. Furthermore, as per the state post-COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, the machines and partitions must be cleaned and disinfected after each customer. Prior to rearranging the position of the restricted gaming machines, the venues must receive approval from the NGCB.

Thousands of Restricted Gaming Locations Impacted by Pandemic

In the Silver State there are some 19,000 slot machines distributed among more than 2,400 restricted gaming locations. Las Vegas is a part of Clark County and based on data by the regulator, in this county alone there are more than 13,000 slot machines in more than 1,600 restricted gaming venues. Here it is important to mention that restricted gaming locations pay taxes differently than casino operators. Restricted gaming venues pay both quarterly and annual fees which are per slot machine.

With that in mind back in July, taverns and bars in seven counties were ordered to close by Governor Steve Sisolak, following surges in positive COVID-19 cases. Earlier this month, the governor lifted the restrictions for three counties. But so far the restrictions remain for Clark (Las Vegas), Washoe (Reno), Elko and Nye County. Following the new mitigation strategy, the Governor was planning to introduce new measures for six counties last week, but the process was delayed pending approval of action plans.

Bar and Tavern Owners in Nevada Decided to Take the Governor to Court

Keeping in mind the enforced shutdown by Governor Sisolak, bar and tavern owners decided to take action. Last week 62 bar and tavern owners in Nevada decided to take this to court. On Thursday last week, Judge Kerry Earley heard the legal counsel representing the governor and the 62 bar and tavern owners.

With this move the bar and tavern owners are aiming to reverse the emergency order by the Governor. Dennis Kennedy, the attorney representing the plaintiffs said: “Bars and casino gaming floors are 80% compliant at this point.” He added “Water parks are just flatly not in compliance, they come up with a 0(%).

On the other hand, the attorney representing the Governor, Craig Newby said that the order is the result of unprecedented circumstances. He also questioned whether the court can take such a decision, considering the nature of the emergency order which is a result of the COVID-19 spread. Judge Earley is yet to announce the ruling and we can only wait and see how this situation will unravel.

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