All casino visitors and hotel guests will now have to wear mandatory face masks, the Nevada Gaming Control Board announced late on Wednesday.
Masks Become Voluntary in Las Vegas Casinos
With six states in the United States reporting a spike in the number of registered COVID-19 cases, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak made good on a promise he gave earlier this week that should the infection start to spread once again, casino patrons would be obliged to wear face masks before they can enter casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere around the Silver State.
The decision came late on Wednesday, made by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the state regulatory body on gambling and sports betting. Under these changes, the rule to wear protective masks now “applies to table and card game players, spectators, and any other person within six feet of any table or card game.”
Previously, Gov. Sisolak said that all casino employees should wear protective gear and encourage patrons to do so as well. However, with casino visitors unreluctant to don a mask, the recommendation has now turned into a prerequisite to enter a casino.
Opened since June 4, Nevada’s casino industry has been trying to recover. Yet, by one estimate, the recovery would take at least three years. Now, visitors will also have to deal with the added discomfort of wearing face masks in closed spaces.
As per the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s recommendations, all casinos must provide patrons with the necessary protective equipment and post distinctive signature making visitors aware that such gear is available and they must comply with regulation.
All coverings must be provided upon request the new regulations state. The measures are necessary as the Nevada Gaming Control Board has not been satisfied with the level of compliance among patrons.
Patrons Reluctant to Put on Voluntary Face Masks
According to Sandra Douglass Morgan, head of the gaming regulator, upon conducting multiple inspections over the past two weeks, the watchdog had concluded that patrons were not complying with regulations and casinos would need a firmer legal framework to enforce the necessary safety protocols. Morgan further had this to add:
“Social distancing was not where we wanted it to be. We still want the casinos to strongly encourage patrons to wear masks. “
Gov. Sisolak has also joined the calls for voluntary masks. “I’m encouraging people to wear masks,” the governor said on Monday, cautioning that COVID-19 was far from over and a second wave of the virus could cripple the economy and have impact on way of life for years to come.
The previous closure was 78 days between mid-March and June 4 when Las Vegas was allowed to tentatively reopen. With casinos opening back for business, eateries and buffets have decided to follow suite.
Today, Thursday, June 14, the Wynn Las Vegas Strip Buffet will reopen and various eateries have already restarted business. Some have introduced a peculiar COVID-19 surcharge to help cover expenses generated due to the virus.
More casino properties are expected to roll out throughout July.