Casinos will look very different when they can finally reopen. The Nevada Gaming Control Board issued its guidelines for casinos to resume gaming operations once Gov. Steve Sisolak lifts his order for all nonessential businesses to close.
Perhaps not surprising, nightclubs and dayclub pool parties at a casino must remain closed, although pools can reopen with seating arranged with social distancing in mind.
Restaurants and bars in casinos also will need to rearrange seating with social distancing protocols.
In most cases, the board recommends following safety guidelines “issued by federal, state, and local governing authorities with respect to the operation of hotels, restaurants, retail establishments, and pools.”
Casinos can only open at 50 percent capacity and will need to limit the number of people allowed inside. The board also recommends frequent hand washing by staff, cleaning and social distancing at table games and slot machines, hand sanitizer available to visitors, and training on COVID-19 safety and disinfection protocols in English and Spanish for staff.
The board notes its guidelines represent minimum requirements that should be followed, and casinos can develop their own requirements. Wynn Las Vegas and the Venetian and Palazzo already released plans for cleaning, protections, and social distancing.
Sisolak revealed a phased-in plan for reopening the state for business last Thursday, but extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 15. Casinos may be allowed to reopen in phase three or four, depending on whether COVID-19 cases continue to drop, hospitals can handle new cases, and additional testing capacity in the state. Nevada is technically in phase zero of reopening, according to Sisolak.