Nevada casinos still can’t reopen. But once they do, the Nevada Gaming Control Board will require them to implement stringent guidelines, including limiting capacity to 50%, in an effort to prevent additional spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced on Thursday he will permit certain businesses to reopen as early as Saturday. Those include salons and restaurants, which will be allowed to seat customers at 50% maximum capacity. But he’s leaving the decision on casinos up to the NGCB.
Sisolak made it clear in his weekly press conference that Nevada casinos won’t fit into his “Phase One” plans. But some speculate the NGCB could be ready to grant permission to the 440+ gambling establishments in the Silver State as early as Memorial Day Weekend. Wynn CEO Matt Maddox is among those who are hoping his Las Vegas Strip resort will be ready to roll for one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
While the reopening date remains unclear, we do know that when they are permitted to open, casinos will have to make some major changes to their operating procedures
Health and Safety a Priority
The NGCB won’t take all the fun out of Nevada casinos, but when reopening is permitted, customers will notice some major changes to the casino gambling experience.
Per the NGCB’s guidelines, which were approved on Wednesday, poker rooms can only operate with four players at each table, maximum. Many poker players on social media have said they have no interest in short-handed play and some believe the restrictions will force many, if not all, of Las Vegas’ cardrooms to close.
All casino patrons will be reminded to wash hands and cover their faces when they cough via signs posted throughout the casino.
All employees should receive clear instructions on how to properly and efficiently respond to all presumed cases of COVID-19,” the Gaming Control Board said.
Slot machine sections will also look a bit different than they have in the past. The NGCB is encouraging casino operators to promote safe social distancing guidelines, which could mean removing chairs at every other slot machine to ensure customers don’t sit next to each other.
Gaming establishments will also be required to limit the number of players at each table game. For blackjack, only three players can sit down at the table. Craps tables will be limited to six gamblers at a time, and four at roulette.