LAS VEGAS — The Nevada State Gaming Control Board has issued new health and safety policy statements detailing instructions for the reopening of casinos with guidelines that include social distancing requirements.

The guidelines, which were posted on the control board’s website, include a seven-page document for nonrestricted licensees (large gaming operations), and a separate four-page notice for restricted licensees (establishments with 15 or fewer slot machines such as convenience stores, bars and restaurants). Both directives require a detailed reopening plan at least seven days before the planned opening by the license holders. 

“We’re definitely going to require a lot of our licensees. They understand they need to get it right,” board Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan said Monday.

Patrons and hotel guests “will find the high-level customer service they’re used to, an environment that’s clean and sanitized, (and) employees who are properly trained on COVID and sanitation protocol,” Morgan said.

“But it’s likely going to look a little different, because the operators have to make sure there is social distancing,” she said. “Obviously, mass gatherings can’t happen right away.”

Among the requirements of gaming entities listed in the new documents:

  • Properties must limit occupancy to no more than 50% of the limit assigned to each gaming area of the property by local building and fire codes. Properties can use head counts by security personnel, existing surveillance systems and slot machine accounting systems to estimate occupancy numbers. 
  • Plans must include how hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes would be available to all casino employees as well as for patron use.
  • Plans must ensure that the floor plan for slot machines creates proper social distancing between patrons. The guideline suggests that chairs and stools in front of every other gaming machine be removed so that patrons do not sit next to each other, or licensees could propose other measures to ensure proper distance between players. Employees will be assigned to focus on ensuring guests don’t congregate in groups.
  • Social distancing will be required in all table games. Limits will include three players per blackjack table, six players per craps table, four players per roulette table and four players per poker table. Casino supervisors and managers must ensure that patrons do not congregate in groups around gaming tables.
  • Plans will require regular cleaning and disinfection of table games, rails, chairs, dice, card shoes, shufflers, roulette wheels, pai gow tiles, pit podiums, blackjack discard holders and tip boxes when a new player or employee comes in contact with any of those items. Plans also will address how licensees will disinfect cards and chips.
  • Plans must ensure that patrons do not congregate in groups and practice social distancing in race and sportsbooks, keno lounges, bingo halls and any other gaming areas. Plans also must include how those areas will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
  • Nightclubs and dayclubs within a licensee’s property must remain closed until further notice.

The board expects all licensees to comply with all health and safety guidelines and directives issued by federal, state and local governing authorities with respect to the operation of hotels, restaurants, retail establishments and swimming pools. Any area where patrons queue should have appropriate signage requiring social distancing in accordance with government requirements. All restaurants and bars should have reduced seating under government requirements to allow for appropriate distancing between each table and between customers.

The guidelines include rules for “Meetings and Conventions. They prohibit groupings of more than 250 people. Food service locations are included in the guidelines.

Similar requirements also are in place for the smaller restricted gaming licensees, including the 50% occupancy rules and social distancing at bartop slot machines. The board suggested covering a machine’s bill and ticket validator so that customers do not use that machine.

(23) comments

Fletcher

Until the virus is under control opening casinos is a huge mistake. Especially in the slot department. Patrons change machines continuously and there's NO way employees will be able to keep up with disinfecting each machine. If you think they can your dreaming. The virous will start all over again at a faster pace. I understand the need to reopen but again this will be a HUGE mistake.

Michael 777

Many states are planning to reopen businesses in spite of warnings from pandemic experts to stay closed awhile longer .We are doomed.. I'm expecting a million or more list lives before we get vaccines..

DETOUR > US 66

Please stay home so you will not see people dropping like flies in all the casinos.

Zycamzip

I have read or read summaries of most of the various reports and expectations for where we are heading in terms of deaths. It wouldn't surprise me that we will lose 1.5 million people, before we get a vaccine.

It also wouldn't surprise me that if Trump is president, that Nevada and its employees will be one of the last states to get aid/vaccines.

Elroy

That flu vaccine Was a cure all... Except when it isn't. Let's stay locked up for flu season too? And the "experts" say that.. If not find a different "expert"??? You seem to be?

DETOUR > US 66

As shocking as this may sound, I will "bet" there have already been hundreds of thousands of people that have caught the flu at a Vegas casino over the past 50 or 60 years and likely that even thousands of them have died of the flu.

Zycamzip

This isn't the flu. The flu has a mortality rate of .15% and kills 50k-60k yearly. COVID-19 has a mortality rate of about 6% and within 3 months has killed over 60k within the states. It's 40x more deadly than the Flu. We can expect deaths in the millions.

However, social distancing is going to kill casinos, lol. No ifs, ands, nor buts.

Jeff swan

This is never going to be under control viruses are here to stay they’ve been here for 1 million years or more.There are no such things as Absolutes just deal with it,

Jeff swan

The virus will never be under control, because there are no such thing as an absolutes.

Cruisegirl52

I don’t care if the casinos open I just want the hotels and restaurants to open

Spitfire

Many in Bullhead City thought our infected numbers would be through the roof with Laughlin casinos just ove the bridge and many casino employees living in Bullhead City. We have fairly low numbers compared to the other cities in the County. This tells me that the casinos were doing a pretty good job keeping things clean.

Kudos to them all!

Zycamzip

No, actually being a suburb of Vegas and Nevada's governor shut down quickly, cut the infection rates down.

At the casino I work at, the slot department was using one rag to clean the machines with water, and another to dry them. Want to know why workers get sick every year with casino crud? Because the casino doesn't clean with disinfectants.

hduga1

Who has the need to go to a Casino after all this.....get a hobby, take a course in something, volunteer...this area never ceases to amaze me...

Elroy

You sound smart enough to tell everyone ELSE what to do Adolf ?

Desert Bat

This morning the Los Alamos National Laboratory issued a 33-page report stating that the coronavirus has mutated and that a mutated virus is about tyo wreak more harm than the original virus. I wouldn't hold out any hope for a vaccine against a mutating virus. The conclusions a person may draw with respect to these facts regarding the opening of casinos or anything else may be quite sobering. That's a fancy way of saying we may be up that famous tributary without a paddle.

Zycamzip

As of 2 weeks ago, there were 8 variations to the virus, moving around the world. If it's like the flu, and we gain immunity to one variation, but not the other, we may have finally found our match for keeping the world population down.

DETOUR > US 66

I just heard the projected death toll by end of 2020 in U.S. of COVID-19 will likely be close to 200,000 and there will be over 14 variations to the virus. And it is projected to remain active throughout most of the U.S. (except desert areas like southern AZ, NV and CA) through the winter months and all of 2021. If a Democrat is elected in November as POTUS look for a "National Security Lockdown" order to go into place on Inauguration Day 2021 to extend through the entire year. Every unemployed adult will be receiving stimulus" checks of $5,000 per month (for a minimum of 24 months) and Social Security recepients will all get $3,000 per month in addition to their normal checks (for a minimum of 48 months). Something to look forward to I guess.

Elroy

I'm just going to hide my life away until I DIE of "natural" causes. Whatever that means?

Weggy

Re open. If your over 65, stay home!

Elroy

Yes have your children go .Great math education they will understand percentages better than closed schools offer? Over 6 not 65?

Jeff swan

Stay home if you’re over 65 LOL that’s a good one.

Jeff swan

I have no problem with the casinos opening I’m glad they are those people who don’t want to go to the casino or leave their house please stay home.

DETOUR > US 66

It's really nice to see so many pandemic "experts" here offering their "death total" opinions which appear to range for about a million to two million to.......nearly everyone on the planet. And everyone "over 65" should stay home? Well that closes Laughlin because the average age of that town is what, about 70? And all the casinos will shut down too because a guy that manages the Sports Book at Golden Nugget said their customers range from 40 to 85 with at least half over 65. And if the casinos die so does Bullhead City. So everyone just stay home, stay scared and watch TV for the latest "COVID is the end of the world" update....Pathetic.

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