In response to the spiking number of COVID-19 cases, Nevada’s governor ordered the closure of restricted gaming venues in certain counties. A venue is considered restricted if it contains 15 or fewer slot machines. The majority of these gaming locations are taverns and bars. The shut-down will commence on Friday.
Governor Steve Sisolak stated the closure is due to “excessive non-compliance” with the health and safety regulations that both operators and guests displayed. Some of the operators tried to comply with the regulations by implementing social distancing or frequently cleaning the gaming machines, but an inspection by OSHA in Nevada revealed half bars weren’t complying with guidelines. Sisolak said, “One-fifth of businesses visited by OSHA inspectors are not in compliance with our measures, and this is unacceptable.”
Among the areas that are affected by the new ruling are the Clark and Washoe Counties, which include the Las Vegas Valley and Reno. Spokeswoman Meghin Delaney confirmed that bars inside those county casinos must close although drinks will still be available, but patrons won’t be able to sit and drink at the bar.
There are nearly 2,000 restricted gaming venues in Nevada and they mostly rely on local clientele. The state’s Phase 2 will continue until the end of July. Masks or other facial coverings are mandatory in public places, including casinos.