Baton Rouge Casino Going Mask-Free; Is It Too Soon?

In the state of Louisiana, one of the largest casinos in operation is the L’Auberge Baton Rouge. It is home to a wealth of entertainment, dining, and casino games, with people traveling from across the state as well as other states in the US to enjoy its offerings. Just recently, the casino announced it is no longer requiring masks to be worn inside the property. This is a big change from previous COVID-19 protocols. Is it too soon to remove masks completely from casino floors?

No Mask Mandate

On Thursday of this week, the L’Auberge Baton Rouge announced its decision to go mask free. In a Facebook post, the company said that masks are no longer required and stated they appreciate the patience of visitors at this time.

Governor John Bel Edwards decided to remove the statewide mask mandate this week. The Governor says the availability of the vaccine for COVID-19 along with a decline in cases is the reason for the order change. The mask mandate has been in place since July 2020.

As the mask mandate is lifted, the casino looks forward to welcoming more guests. Buffets can start back up again indoors, which is a staple among casino venues. The casino has also been posting job openings, seemingly preparing for an influx in guests.

The property has put out postings for dealers, cashiers, and hospitality employees. It is unclear as to if the employees will continue to wear masks or if the change will apply to staff members as well.

Smart Choice?

Across the United States, local governments are deciding to do away with mask mandates. People are still choosing to wear them in public as it is still a recommendation by health officials. For those who do not feel that masks are needed, the change doesn’t mean much. However, for people who feel masks are a necessity, it changes a lot.

The positive case count in Louisiana and other states may be going down, but that does not mean the virus is gone for good. We know that there are several variants and with people not wearing masks, we may soon see an influx of new COVID-19 cases.

Is it too soon for states to do away with mask mandates? Of course, people are getting vaccinated and that certainly helps to cut down on the number of people who have the virus with symptoms, but it does not cut down on the spread.

Even people who have been vaccinated are encouraged to wear masks in public to avoid spreading the virus as a carrier due to being exposed. Will the casinos like the one in Baton Rouge become a hot spot due to non-mask wearing?

In some states, mask mandates have been removed for a few weeks and already positive case counts are climbing. We shall see in the coming weeks if the casinos start to see outbreaks of the virus. Along with the Louisiana venue, casinos in Mississippi are no longer requiring masks.

Hopefully, the decision will not affect the health of citizens in the long run. We should see in the next few weeks how things go with the no mask policy in these venues.

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Conor Stack
Conor is one of our main writers on USGS focusing on a wide range of industry coverage across sports, casino and poker.