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Nevada Casinos Take Big Step Towards Reopening

Gov. Steve Sisolak Started His Recovery Plan One Week Ahead Of Schedule And Gaming Commission Approved Safety Guidelines

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Nevada gaming took a major step towards reopening Thursday as the Gaming Commission approved guidelines proposed by the Control Board a week earlier and Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that the first phase of his reopening plan would start a week early.

Last Friday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board outlined specific guidelines for casinos to implement in order to open for business again. Thursday morning, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved those rules and any casinos operating in the Silver State, which have been closed since March 18, will have to implement these policies.

The guidelines included strict social distancing measures that were highlighted by increased distance at slot machines and a limit on how many players can sit at a given gaming table. Under these rules, all poker games would be played as four-max until the guidelines are relaxed as the spread of coronavirus is deemed under control.

Enhanced cleaning techniques would also be used throughout the casino, which would only be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.

“These are unprecedented times that require unprecedented measures,” said Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Morgan. “We are confident that these policies are sound, not only for our licensees, but for our employees and guests.”

Thursday afternoon, Sisolak held a press conference where he said that phase one of his multi-step reopening plan would start a week early. Initially, Sisolak announced that it would start on May 15, but was encouraged by data surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and opted to start the process on May 9.

“I’m able to move up this announcement because as a state, we have met our gateway benchmarks for starting our reopening,” said Sisolak at the outset of the conference.

Sisolak reiterated that casinos would be opening at the start of phase one, along with bars, movie theaters, gyms and fitness facilities, and entertainment venues.

During a Good Morning America interview last week, Sisolak said casinos would open in phase three or four, but contradicted himself the following day in his press conference to release his “Roadmap to Recovery,” saying that “casinos will not be open in the beginning of phase one.”

The governor said that it will take between two and three weeks to properly evaluate how the state is doing, but also noted there isn’t anything specifically he is looking for to move forward.

“I don’t have a specific metric to move into phase two,” said Sisolak. “If we see a problem with any of these initiatives that I brought forth in these openings, and we can identify the activity that is causing the surge, we will roll back some of the openings that we had previously announced today.”

Regardless of which phase gaming is allowed to reopen, the fact that the timeline is being moved up a week is a good sign for casino companies.

At the end of April, Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox told President Trump at a White House roundtable discussion that he thought Vegas casinos could safely reopen by Memorial Day. If everything goes well over the next two weeks, Maddox has an outside chance of getting his wish.

 
 
 
 

Comments

oliveras19
5 months ago

FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES THERE WILL BE ZERO MAX PLAYERS PER TABLE FOR THE TIME BEING. SMALL POTS. TOO MANY BLINDS PLUS TOO MANY TIPS.

 
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Jack9
5 months ago

They are going to have to drop the table rake to 1/2 of what it was and only a small blind, or no players.

 
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