FILE - In this March 18, 2020, file photo, Antonia Garcia cleans slot machines inside the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino in Las Vegas. When shuttered casinos reopen in Nevada, patron counts will be cut in half, nightclubs will remain closed, convention groups will be limited and gamblers will have to keep safe distances apart. Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan said Monday, May 4, 2020, the state is going to require a lot before letting casinos and resort operators reopen. Gov. Steve Sisolak has not announced a target date.
LAS VEGAS — When Nevada casinos eventually reopen, customer numbers will be cut in half, nightclubs will remain closed, convention groups will be limited and gamblers will have to keep safe distances apart, according to new rules from state gambling regulators.
"Plans should ... address how licensees will disinfect
cards and chips," the Nevada Gaming Control Board guidelines said.
Table games should be limited to three players for
blackjack, six for craps, four for roulette and four for poker. Chairs could be
removed from every second slot machine. Casino supervisors and managers have to
prevent patrons from congregating in groups around tables.
"We're definitely going to require a lot of our licensees. They understand they need to get it right," board Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan said Monday.
Gov. Steve Sisolak has not announced an opening date, but the guidelines issued Friday require casino operators to "create and implement" — at least seven days in advance — detailed plans for sanitizing everything from table game seats to guest room door handles and TV remotes to restaurant menus and escalator rails.
The guidelines were posted a day after the governor eased
restrictions on some outdoor activities and businesses but said casinos would
remain closed. Sisolak extended until at least May 15 his directive for people
to stay home to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Most people with the virus experience symptoms such as fever
and cough for up to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health
problems can face severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
The governor said the state economy will reopen gradually,
with the casinos and resort hotels he closed in mid-March expected to reopen
during third- or fourth-level phases in weeks to come. Some Las Vegas Strip
resorts aim to open by Memorial Day.
Morgan and the board have regulatory authority over the
state's 459 licensed casinos and resorts, and nearly 2,000 more bars,
restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores with 15 or fewer slot
Patrons and hotel guests "will find the high-level
customer service they're used to, an environment that's clean and sanitized,
(and) employees who are properly trained on COVID and sanitation
protocol," Morgan said.
"But it's likely going to look a little different,
because the operators have to make sure there is social distancing," she
said. "Obviously, mass gatherings can't happen right away."
Property occupancy will at least initially be limited to 50%
of building and fire code limits. Restaurants will have reduced seating, with
extra space between patrons and tables. No more than 250 people will be allowed
at conventions and meetings.
Swimming pool cabanas and chaises "must allow for
appropriate distancing," and nightclubs and dayclubs — where dancers and
revelers are usually packed tightly — will remain idle "until further
Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes have to be available
to casino employees and patrons, and the guidelines say property operators that
require protective masks, gloves or face shields must provide them.