Nevada Creates Policy Change; Now Requires All Table Game Players to Wear Masks

When casinos in Nevada began reopening on June 4, the state was a buzz with activity. Players were ready to get back out on the gaming floor and casinos had worked hard to create a safe and healthy environment not just for guests, but also employees. Soon after reopening began, photos were seen online that showed large crowds of people at casinos and few wearing masks. The CDC recommends that everyone wear a mask when in a public setting among large groups of people, but those in attendance were not doing so. Now, some two weeks after being open, the Nevada Gaming Control Board is now requiring masks at table games.

New Stipulation

The health and safety policies of the state Gaming Control Board were updated yesterday with the requirement that players at table games must wear a mask, unless the table has a shield or partition that separates the player from the dealer.

The change states that face masks are required for table and card game players as well as spectators of these tables and any person who is within six feet of the game. The change comes just after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak did not order casino patrons to wear masks on the gaming floor to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Instead of a full order, Sisolak said that employees need to encourage players to wear masks.

In an effort to get players to wear masks, the Board has advised operators that they must make it known they offer masks. They must also place signage throughout the property that alerts players of masks being available.

Concern Rising

Recently, Sandra Douglass Morgan, the Chairwoman of the Gaming Control Board, stated that gaming agents in Nevada had visited casinos within the past two weeks and were growing concerned over the lack of protection for employees and customers.

Social distancing was not taking place as regulators would have liked. Thus, the decision to require masks as table games was created. And the board wants to see casinos continuing to push for patrons to wear masks. However, the push will most likely not work because people who feel comfortable to travel to the casinos while the pandemic is still ongoing are more than likely not wearing a mask in general.

We may see in the near future even more changes, including that all players wear masks. While no word on this has been stated by the board, if they are willing to make this change, they might take the mask wearing a step further if the number of coronavirus cases in the local area continues to rise.

It will still take a few more weeks to see the true impact that the reopening of Las Vegas casinos had on residents in the area and if the number of positive cases for the coronavirus will be increasing or will stabilize. It will also be interesting to see if the table games remain busy now that the mask stipulation is in play.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.