More than 60 Clark County bar owners found out on Monday night that a Clark County judge ruled against their lawsuit against Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order to reclose bars to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Judge Kerry Earley upheld the directive the governor implemented on July 10, which closed taverns that do not serve food. The measure effectively shut down many taverns’ main source of income, bar-top games, because even those that do serve food cannot open their bar tops.
Earley’s ruling in Nevada’s Eighth District Court found that although bar and tavern businesses “contribute to both the economic welfare of the community and substantial employment of the members of the community, economic rights, such as alleged by plaintiffs, are not recognized as fundamental constitutional rights,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
The governor closed nonessential businesses including bars on March 17 to slow the spread of COVID-19. He allowed bars statewide to reopen on May 29, and then reclosed taverns in some counties, including Clark County, after a rise in the number of positive COVID-19 on July 10. Bars in Clark, Washoe, Nye, and Elko counties remain closed.
On Friday, the Gaming Control Board decided that bars can move bar-top gaming temporarily to standalone units as long as they are spaced six feet apart and are disinfected between players. The board recommends partitions or barriers between devices.