The reopening of the casinos in Las Vegas has been a slow-moving process, but another step was taken on Thursday morning. Poker rooms at the Bellagio and Caesars Palace are now back open, and more players will be allowed at each table.
Bellagio director of poker operations, Mike Williams, sent out a tweet on Wednesday night announcing the return of the poker rooms. In his tweet, he stated that 23 tables would be ready for action, and the poker rooms will remain open 24/7.
The Bellagio will now become the second casino on the Las Vegas Strip to reopen their poker room. The Venetian wasted little time in allowing poker, as they did so on June 5, just one day after casinos were allowed to reopen.
Poker tables will now be allowed to have up to five players playing at one time. The Nevada Gaming Control Board initially limited the number of players to four, but they will allow an extra player as of June 18. Typically, poker tables can have up to 10 players under normal circumstances.
Other Casinos Opening Soon
Even though casinos were allowed to reopen in Nevada on June 4, a number of the most popular destinations have remained close. There are several reasons for the delay, but the biggest reason was that casinos needed to develop a health and safety plan before they were allowed back open.
The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay Place is set to reopen on June 25. This will give residents of Las Vegas and tourists that enter the city other things to do besides visit the casinos.
Four Seasons Las Vegas, Aria Resort & Casino, and Mandalay Bay will reopen their casino doors on July 1. It was important that these casinos reopen before the July 4 weekend.
The Excalibur will remain closed for almost another month as they are not planning on reopening their doors until July 11. Casinos in Las Vegas are still operating at less than 50 percent, but there has been plenty of business over the last two weeks.
Masks Must Now Be Worn
The Nevada Gaming Control Board encouraged the wearing of masks at casinos when they began reopening on June 4. The first two weeks have produced several reports of players entering without masks, and the Gaming Board was forced to respond.
As of Wednesday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) announced that masks are now mandatory at most card and table games inside of the casino. This will include the new poker rooms that are starting to emerge at casinos across the country.
Masks will now be required at table games where a barrier or shield between players has been installed. Many casinos have already taken this precaution, but some casinos were going on without one.
Not only do players at the tables have to wear masks, but anyone within six feet of the tables is required to wear a mask. Casinos must provide masks to any guest that asks for one, but they will now be tasked with ensuring that they are being worn properly as well.
The Gaming Control Board was leaving the enforcement up to the casinos as of June 4, but reports keep trickling in of fewer mask wearers. The board was forced to respond, and the new rules went into effect on Wednesday night.
Casino guests that stay away from the tables will not be forced to wear a mask. This applies to customers that are playing at the slot machines. Casinos have already removed several slot machines to ensure that social distancing guidelines are being adhered to.