Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention announced that people who are fully vaccinated from COVID-19 can go mask-less in indoor and outdoor settings. Because of this recent ruling, the Nevada Gaming Control Board decided that casinos can now choose to go mask-less in this manner or continue to require them.
Once the CDC made the announcement, the state of Nevada said that the updated guidance on masks applies to the state. Earlier this week, the Board was requiring that individuals wear masks when inside a casino in the state. Properties across Las Vegas were recently approved for 100% game floor capacity and the mask mandate still applied.
For the Board, they have told casinos that they can decide if they want to confirm the vaccination status of a customer. Casinos are asked by the Board to post signs that discuss the new mask guidance for those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated.
So far, there have been few reports of casinos announcing what they plan to do. It would be difficult to confirm if every patron who visits if they are vaccinated or not. We should see by today or over the weekend what major operators like Caesars and MGM decide to do.
Opening at 100% Capacity
The ruling does affect every operator in some form or fashion. Many casinos have been approved to reopen at 100% within the gaming floor due to the percentage of employees that are vaccinated. Because more people are welcome, it is expected that tourism levels will increase.
Will those visiting Las Vegas be mostly vaccinated or a mix of both? Right now, MGM Resorts, Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, and Red Rock Resorts have been approved for operation at full capacity. Wynn Resorts was also cleared.
With the changing mask order and more amenities coming to Las Vegas casinos, will tourism levels increase? Or will the removal of the mask order keep people from traveling, especially those who are not vaccinated?
It is really a guessing game. A lot will depend on what the casinos decide to do about the mask issue. Some might decide to require confirmation of vaccination, which would require the individual to bring the card with the information on it to the casino. This might be going too far though and patrons might not feel comfortable having to be checked before visiting.
Wynn Resorts was one of the first casino operators to be approved to open its casino floor at 100% capacity. In a statement last night, the company announced that guests who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear a mask but those who are not, need to wear one.
The operator stated they trust guests to take the precautions necessary based on their personal vaccination status when visiting. Employees of the company that can provide proof of vaccination will not have to wear a mask while working. Any employee that cannot provide this information will need to wear a mask.
It will be interesting to see how the other casino operators decide to handle the issue and how it affects guests traveling to the area.