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Bars in Clark County Can Now Move Gaming Machines Off the Bar Top and Into the Lounge

Bars often earn about 50 percent of their revenue from gaming

A royal flush on a bar-top gaming machine
A bar-top blackjack game at PT’s Tavern
PT’s Tavern/Facebook

Bar owners get a bit of a reprieve now that Clark County voted to temporarily allow taverns to move up to seven bar-top gaming machines to stand-alone cabinets. The commission unanimously approved the measure that helps gaming lounges, which can earn up to 50 percent of their income from blackjack and keno machines installed on bar tops.

Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all bars and taverns that do not serve food to close on July 10 in seven Nevada counties including Clark County to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cases surged in Clark County since bars were allowed to reopen on May 29. On Monday, he renewed his order to close bars in Clark County as new coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Steiner’s Pub owner Roger Sachs, for example, estimates that about 50 percent of his revenue at three local bars comes from gaming.

Clark County joins the cities of Henderson, Las Vegas, and North Las Vegas in allowing bars to move their gaming off the bar and into the lounge.

Bar owners hoped to get permission to move up to 15 games.

Bar owners representing 37 local businesses already filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court against the state along with Gov. Steve Sisolak that challenges his order to close bars to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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