Nevada Gaming Control Board Issues New Health Safety Guidelines

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has started to outline reopening plans for the casinos that are currently shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organization has sent out a pair of memos this week, offering detailed instructions that casinos must follow if they plan to reopen.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board posted both of the memos on their website on Friday night, and they are extremely detailed. There is a seven-page document that is meant for casinos that hold a non-restricted license. The control board also posted a four-page document for those locations that hold a restricted license.

Locations that are operating under a restricted license include bars, restaurants, and grocery stores. A restricted license means that these locations can have 15 or fewer slot machines on the premises.

One of the most important parts of these memos states that locations must provide a detailed reopening plan at least seven days before they reopen. Some major casinos have already submitted a reopening plan and will be ready to go when given the green light.

Governor Steve Sisolak ultimately has the final say in when casinos can reopen throughout the state. He ordered all of the casinos to shut down on March 17 to stop the spread of the disease, and that order has since been extended.

Sisolak has maintained that casinos will remain closed until the state starts to see a decline in the number of positive cases of the coronavirus. Expanded testing and contact tracing is another area that needs to be improved before businesses can reopen.

Plans that are submitted by casinos must include several key details that will provide extra safety to both employees and customers.

Each casino must outline how they plan to offer hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to all of their employees, and to customers who request them. Casinos must also clean tables, machines, and poker chips regularly.

Casinos will be required to limit occupancy to just 50 percent of the normal limit to keep proper social distancing. Each type of table game will also have a different limit as to how many people can be playing at any one time.

Las Vegas Casinos Start Announcing Reopening Dates

Even though Governor Sisolak has yet to lift the executive order, most industry experts believe that it will happen between May 15 and June 1. Sisolak and other government leaders continue to evaluate all of the information before they are able to make a final decision.

Casinos throughout Las Vegas have started to announce the dates in which they plan to reopen for business. All of these plans will have to be cleared by the Nevada government, but it appears that the Las Vegas Strip will be open for business soon.

Wynn Las Vegas, Treasure Island, and Encore were the first three casinos to announce their intentions to reopen. They all three initially announced that they would be open on May 15, but they have since pushed that date back to May 22.

The Venetian and The Palazzo have both announced that they will be reopening their doors on June 1. While there are still several other casinos that have yet to announce their plans, all are expected to be sometime before June 1.

Each casino will have to submit their own reopening plan to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, but they have now received more guidance in making those plans. While the casinos will be open for business soon, there likely won’t be any major concerts or live events taking place in the city of several more months.


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