The requirements cover everything from cleaning protocols to occupancy restrictions.

By Alison Fox
May 11, 2020
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As the Las Vegas strip is nowhere near as busy as it typically is, the Nevada Gaming Control Board laid out new guidelines aiming to steer the eventual reopening of casinos in the state.

Approved earlier this month, the requirements cover everything from cleaning protocols to occupancy restrictions — however gamblers won't be able to flock to the tables just yet. While dine-in restaurants and retail businesses will be able to open with restrictions during Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan, the gaming industry will not, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

In order to open the doors, the Gaming Control Board said all surfaces will have to be cleaned and disinfected and employees have to be “adequately trained” on how to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Casinos will also have to increase the frequency of cleaning high-contact surfaces like elevator buttons, gaming machines, and ATM’s.

Las Vegas Strip and surroundings remain quiet due ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
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Further, casinos will have to facilitate social distancing (the Gaming Control Board suggested removing certain chairs at gaming machines to accomplish this, as an example) and hand sanitizer will have to be readily available on the casino floor.

Slot machines in the "out of service" mode sit idle at the Emerald Island Casino on May 2, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada.
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Occupancy will be limited to 50 percent “to achieve the social distancing guidelines issued by federal, state, and local health authorities.”

And don’t expect cheering crowds around the craps table — the guidelines limit the number of people who can play at one time, recommending six people per craps table, three per blackjack table, and four each per roulette and poker tables.

Casinos shut their doors last month as COVID-19 spread across the country. As of Monday, more than 1.3 million cases of the virus had been recorded in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. While the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services recorded just over 6,000 cases in the state, Las Vegas is known for attracting people from all over the country and beyond to its casinos and famous strip.

Prototype clear acrylic safety shield dividers made by Las Vegas-based Screaming Images are tested at a blackjack table at the El Cortez Hotel & Casino, which is closed as a result of the statewide shutdown due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus.
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The new guidelines also come as one casino tested out a potential safety fix: a clear acrylic screen that could be placed around gaming tables to separate players and dealers, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The El Cortez Hotel & Casino tested the screens, which are made by a local company.

An opening date in Las Vegas has not been set.