NV casinos require masks
The Nevada Gaming Commission may be asked to discipline casinos and other gaming licensees in Nevada that fail to require customers to comply with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s new order mandating facial coverings in public areas. For their safety while practicing their profession, card counters and other types of advantage players have been watching closely the situation in Nevada and throughout the country.
Caesars Entertainment, in a move widely praised by players and casino employees alike, got ahead of the state mandate by announcing that it is requiring masks at all its properties throughout the United States.
“We will continue to explore those instances where behaviors have merited some form of disciplinary action,” Gaming Control Board Member Terry Johnson told commissioners. “Where warranted, the board will take (action) and that may involve the Gaming Commission at some point, should matters proceed to hearings, or in worst-case scenarios — which I do not anticipate — where there is willful refusal to comply with the governor’s directives.”
Sisolak announced that facial coverings are now required in all public areas, including casinos.
The Control Board is currently overseeing compliance to health and safety guidelines for nonrestricted licensees — the largest hotel-casinos — and restricted licensees at bars, restaurants, convenience stores and supermarkets that have 15 or fewer slot machines.
Johnson said the board has yet to decide on “appropriate disciplinary action” for noncompliance and is considering suspending gaming licenses “or other activities.”
“We do expect cooperation and we’ll commit the resources necessary to assist the gaming licensees maintain compliance,” he said.
Johnson didn’t say how many additional Control Board employees are in the field assisting with enforcement but said observation is occurring around the clock.
“It’s a 24/7 operation. They’re out there day in, day out, working with the licensees, bringing items to their attention for correction, and we’ll continue to do that work.”
Governor Sisolak's mask mandate
During a press conference, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced that all Nevadans must wear masks while in public, including in private businesses. Read the entire order here.
Governor Sisolak stated that "wearing mask coverings save lives, period. End of story. We owe it to each other to accept the fact that wearing face mask coverings saves lives."
Rules of the mandatory mask order
The new directive closely mirrors California's mask order, in which all citizens must cover their mouths and nose in most indoor and outdoor settings when social distancing isn't possible.
Here are the Nevada rules:
- Nevadans and visitors don't need to wear medical-grade N95 masks.
- Fabric coverings like a bandana or cloth covering is acceptable.
- Businesses that fail to meet requirements will face violations from licensing agencies and regulatory authorities.
- Businesses have the right to ask a customer to leave if they are not following this directive.
The Nevada mask mandate does not apply to:
- Children between the ages of 2 and 9.
- People experiencing homelessness, though they are encouraged to take protective measures to the greatest extent possible
- People who can’t wear a face covering for medical reasons or because of a disability.
- Employees who could be put at risk for wearing a mask — Sisolak noted police have expressed concerns about it. The policy is up to each jurisdiction on how those employees comply.
- No mask needed while eating or drinking at a restaurant as long as social distance is achieved.
- People engaging in outdoor recreation like swimming, walking, hiking, biking or running as long as they can remain socially distant from others.
- People who are incarcerated.
“A mask helps reduce the spread of infectious disease,” Sisolak said. “Anyone who is denying that is denying reality.”
“Casinos may be disciplined for failing to enforce facial coverings”, Richard N. Velotta, lvrj.com, June 25, 2020.
“What Nevada Governor Sisolak's mask mandate means for you”, Bryce Houston and James DeHaven, rgj.com, June 24, 2020.