Mandatory masks not required at Vegas casinos – yet

Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan said Monday casino operators must provide masks to all guests and “should strongly encourage patrons to wear them.”

In a text message to CDC Gaming Reports, Morgan said, however, the policy could be changed, especially if cases of COVID-19 increase in Nevada. The instances of positive coronavirus tests have increased recently in states bordering Nevada, including Arizona and Utah.

“These policies were created and implemented based on guidance and feedback from medical professionals and from the state’s testing data, testing capacity, and contact tracing,” Morgan said in the message. “If that data changes and our percentage of positive cases increase, I would consider additional measures to ensure our health care system is not overburdened.”

Nevada’s casino industry reopened on June 4 and most operators are requiring employees to wear masks while at work but making their usage optional for casino customers. Caesars Entertainment, however, requires table game players to wear masks.

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A check with several Indian casinos in Southern California found that mask-wearing is required of both employees and customers.

“Masks are required by both employees and casino guests, except of course during eating and smoking,” Beth Binger, a spokeswoman for Jamul Casino in San Diego said in an email. “But guests are reminded to wear their mask after those activities.”

Val Canales, marketing manager for Casino Pauma in San Diego, said in an email, “It is mandatory for our guests and employees to wear masks. We definitely enforce it.”

Several blogs and Twitter feeds that focus on the Las Vegas casino industry mentioned unconfirmed reports that state regulators were planning to require face masks to be worn by customers.

According to The Nevada Independent, Clark County’s chief health officer, Dr. Fermin Leguen, issued a lengthy statement Monday morning imploring residents to wear face masks despite it not being a mandate.

“Unfortunately, as more businesses are opening and people are beginning to resume their normal activities, it is easy to forget that we are still responding to a pandemic, and precautions need to be taken,” Leguen said in a statement.

According to statistics published by the Southern Nevada Health District Monday, there have been 8,815 cases of COVID-19 in Clark County – which includes Las Vegas. Statewide, there have been 11,283 cases of the respiratory disease.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak will hold a press conference Monday to provide an update on Phase 2 of the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery Plan.

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