Clark County, Nevada, is ready to dump all COVID-19 restrictions and return to its pre-pandemic ways. On June 1, the city of Las Vegas will no longer require face masks or social distancing anywhere within its limits.
Last week, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) granted many Las Vegas casinos permission to return to full occupancy, and allow vaccinated guests to ditch their face masks. Of course, many non-vaccinated visitors aren’t abiding by that policy, although the casinos aren’t asking customers to show proof of vaccination.
On June 1, it won’t even matter if you’re vaccinated or not when it comes to face mask requirements, although certain businesses can implement their own health policies. But don’t expect many businesses in Las Vegas to continue forcing customers to wear face masks or to social distance after that date. Many national retailers, such as Target and Walmart, have already dropped face mask requirements.
Boost to the local economy and poker industry
Lawmakers hope the new COVID-19 rules will serve as a boost to the Las Vegas economy, which has already been rebounding over the past few weeks since the NGCB began relaxing many coronavirus restrictions.
If you’ve taken a stroll up along the Las Vegas Strip during the month of May, you’ve probably noticed some pent-up demand. Casinos — especially the major resorts such as Bellagio and Wynn — have been jam-packed with tourists, and the wait times at restaurants on the Strip have been long. In a sense, Las Vegas is back to its old self, or at least close to it. In two weeks, it will inch even closer to normalcy when all COVID-19 restrictions are eliminated.
That isn’t just good news for tourism in Las Vegas or the local restaurants, bars, and casinos. It’s also beneficial to the local poker community, especially for the players who are tired of wearing face masks at the table and sitting behind plexiglass dividers, as those days will soon be over.
In addition to providing immediate help to the local poker industry, the elimination of restrictions should be beneficial to the 2021 World Series of Poker, which begins Sept. 30 at the Rio. Without social distancing guidelines and capacity limitations in place, the WSOP can schedule as many big events as they’d like, and pack the Rio just like they do every other year.