Nevada casino regulators have learned the hard way that, given the opportunity, most people will not act in their best interest. Bearing that in mind, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) is issuing a new mandate requiring table game players and spectators to wear masks in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Las Vegas casinos reopened last week after a 78-day shutdown that stretched back to March. During that first week, the NGCB gave players the option to wear masks, but did not require them. After just a week of operations board members found that so few players were actually wearing them that a mandated enforcement was necessary.
In a statement reported on by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Morgan explained the situation saying, “In the first week (after the June 4 reopening of casinos), we wanted to take an approach of communicating and encouraging compliance and talk to licensees about what our expectations were, but in the second week, it became abundantly clear based on our agents’ observations that patrons’ usage of masks was significantly declining.”
One of the reasons behind the change was to protect dealers and croupiers who are exposed to large numbers of players during any given shift. “When you have a dealer that’s standing in front of up to five people and there are significant others behind them and then there are people watching for an hour at a time, it was concerning, not only for me but other board members as well,” she added.
Some casinos, including the Caesars chain, had already implemented the mask requirement.
The new rules are being implemented immediately.