Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak isn’t far away from allowing his state to fully reopen, the Democratic politician said during a recent press conference. It’s time to return to normalcy, or close to it, he argues, after more than a year of coronavirus restrictions that have limited businesses, including poker rooms.
If Sisolak were to continue putting capacity restrictions on Nevada businesses, he’d face a public outcry from numerous citizens, especially those who have been vaccinated. The governor told his citizens at the press conference that on June 1, social distancing mandates will be eliminated and businesses can go back to operating at 100% capacity.
At present, restaurants, casinos, and other businesses in the state are only permitted to operate at 50% of their maximum capacity. That’s up from 25% earlier this year and late in 2020. But Sisolak isn’t ready to end the face mask mandate. Even when the businesses are permitted to return to full capacity, he’s going to continue requiring that face masks be worn in public.
The reason for the change in direction is due to a significant chunk of Nevadans getting vaccinated. As of April 13, 25% of the state is fully vaccinated, and 40% of the population has received at least one dose. By June 1, far more than half the state will have been fully vaccinated, in all likelihood.
Although Sisolak is fully reopening the state come June 1, some counties will beat him to the punch. The governor is permitting local governments to determine their own COVID-19 restrictions as of May 1. Nye County, home to legal prostitution, has already announced the county of approximately 45,000 residents will immediately eliminate all health restrictions as of that date.
“We are aware that some counties may make the decision to move to 100% capacity as early as May 1 when they gain the authority — and others may not,” Sisolak said. “Each county in Nevada is unique and two of seven have different factors to consider – rural or urban settings, community transmission rates in the area, and vaccine administration, among a few.”
Las Vegas will be popping soon
Clark County, home to Las Vegas, is the largest county in the state, representing approximately two-thirds of Nevada’s population. The county is also home to more than 20 poker rooms and hundreds of casinos. At present, Clark County hasn’t disclosed its plan for May 1, but many have speculated that certain restrictions will be eased soon.
When Sisolak fully reopens the state, poker rooms will be permitted to operate at full capacity for the first time since March 2020. The timing works out perfectly for the Venetian, which plans to run its annual DeepStack Championship Series beginning at the end of May.