Casinos throughout Nevada were closed Wednesday, along with other nonessential businesses, following an unprecedented order from Gov. Steve Sisolak. He urged residents to stay home to help curtail the spread of the new coronavirus. (March 18) AP Domestic
LAS VEGAS – Would you like a complimentary squirt of hand sanitizer? The offer will soon become as common in casinos as a complimentary beer or cocktail.
In the aftermath of COVID-19, the casino experience in Las Vegas and greater Nevada will look a lot different.
While they did not offer a timeline of when resorts will welcome back tourists, the Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved the Gaming Control Board’s reopening policies Thursday, laying out what more than 400 large and small casinos need to do when shutdown orders are lifted.
Here’s a look at what visitors can expect to see when they return to casinos:
Fewer people allowed to gamble
The number of people allowed to gamble will be reduced, as occupancy limits in gaming areas will be cut in half.
Casinos can enforce these limits with head counts, surveillance and using the property’s slot accounting system to monitor the number of people on the casino floor.
Don’t expect to sit next to your sweetheart or best friend. Gambling in the time of COVID-19 will be more solitary.
Casinos are required keep space between gamblers. That means you likely will see chairs and stools in front of every other gaming machine.
Social distancing will be remain an everyday part of resort life.
Gaming authorities want casinos to assign employees to make sure guests don’t gather in groups.
Table games and card games
Gone are the days of packed tables.
Casinos must now limit the number of people playing cards or throwing dice.
Here are limits you’ll see on the floor:
- Three players per blackjack table.
- Six players per craps table.
- Four players per roulette table.
- Four players per poker table.
Groups are not allowed around gaming tables.
Would you like a free … squirt of hand sanitizer?
Dealers will be armed with hand sanitizer to offer guests throughout shifts.
Disinfectant will be a common casino smell. These items must be disinfected any time a new player comes in contact with them: Cards, chips, rails, chairs, dice, card shoes, shufflers, wheels, Pai Gow tiles, pit podiums, blackjack discard holders and toke boxes.
Race & sports books, keno lounges, bingo halls
As with the casino floor, groups are not allowed to gather here. Social distancing must be practiced.
All surfaces players can touch must be regularly disinfected.
Casinos must always have hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes available for guests.
Meeting and convention spaces
In January, 182,000 people gathered at the Las Vegas Convention Center for CES 2020, the consumer electronics expo.
In the wake of COVID-19, no more than 250 people will be able to gather in these spaces until further notice.
Social distancing must be enforced at meetings and banquets, and all food must be served by casino personnel.
Restaurants and bars
All restaurants and bars should have reduced seating in accordance with federal, state and local guidelines to allow appropriate distancing between each table and diner.
The number of guests able to enter stores will be limited, according to federal, state and local requirements, and will be enforced.
Pool seating must be configured in a way to allow proper social distancing.
Nightclubs and dayclubs
Nightclubs and dayclubs will stay closed until further notice.
Learn how to sneeze here
Tourists will see signs posted throughout properties reminding employees and guests about proper hygiene. Here are the subjects you’ll see on the signs:
- Proper hand washing.
- How to cover coughs and sneeze.
- How to avoid touching your face.
Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here.
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