Casinos in Nevada have been open since June 4, with players hitting the gaming floor as quickly as possible. Each casino had to adhere to certain restrictions and regulations in order to be approved for reopening amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. One stipulation was that employees wear masks, though patrons are not required to. Since the venues started to open back up, images have emerged showing people packed in together without wearing masks. This has caused alarm, but Governor Steve Sisolak has reiterated that masks are not mandatory for guests but encouraged.
Image after image has emerged that show guests on gaming floors, gathered in large groups, not wearing masks. Medical professionals across the United States are stressing the need for masks as it has proven to be an effective way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The order of the governor to allow casinos reopen stopped short of requiring customers to wear masks while gaming. However, on Monday, Sisolak stated that employees are encouraging guests to wear face coverings. According to the governor, the state is pursuing a voluntary basis when it comes to public mask wearing. He says that gaming companies are going out of their way to get players to wear masks, with some faring better than others.
Sandra Douglass Morgan, the Chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, spoke with CDC Gaming Reports, stating that casino operators must provide masks to all guests. they should be strongly recommending that players wear them. Morgan stated further that the policy could change if the number of cases increase in the state.
While wearing a mask is not required, Sisolak did give a warning stating that the virus does not recognize borders and that wearing a face mask in a heavily populated area like a casino is a deterrent to contracting the virus.
Sisolak stated further that he would like to see people wearing masks voluntarily as we are in the middle of the pandemic.
At the Caesars Entertainment properties, certain players will find a mask restriction at the table games. The operator decided to make it a requirement that table game players wear masks. However, reports have indicated that casino customer mask wearing has been minimal.
Around the United States, people seem to have become lax when it comes to wearing masks or never started wearing them to begin with. The coronavirus is spread through droplets and has an up to 14 day incubation period. The point of wearing masks is to protect others if you have the virus and do not know that you do. People can have the virus and be asymptomatic which means they do not show signs at all. Some will only show signs days later, though they will still infect people in the in-between time.
It will be interesting to see if the regulations change in Nevada and if players are required to wear masks in the future due to outbreaks. If so, the gaming environment might change dramatically due to players not wanting to be restricted with mask-wearing.