“We are excited to get our employees back to work and to welcome guests to the entertainment capital of the world.”

By Alison Fox
June 04, 2020
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Las Vegas casinos reopened Thursday to clamoring crowds, some showing up at midnight, as Sin City bets on a new combination of gambling and social distancing.

A large crowd in front of the D Hotel & Casino cheered loudly when doors opened as the clock struck 12 a.m., streaming inside, Fox 5 Las Vegas reported. Most did not appear to be wearing masks, (even though guests are encouraged to do so and will be provided one upon request).

Evan Savar and Nabu Reyes, both of Nevada, bump elbows as they celebrate while playing blackjack with dealer Leah Prerost at the Red Rock Resort on June 4, 2020.
Ethan Miller/Getty

“The past few months have presented our city with an unprecedented challenge,” Derek Stevens, the owner of the D Hotel & Casino, told The Associated Press. “We are excited to get our employees back to work and to welcome guests to the entertainment capital of the world.”

Several major casinos on the strip joined smaller ones in welcoming guests later in the day, including Wynn Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, and the Bellagio, after being closed for months. The Bellagio’s famous fountain show sprang to life with a tribute to healthcare workers and first responders.

“It’s been very special so far," MGM Resorts International's senior vice president of public relations, Jenn Michaels, told T+L, "We started the day relaunching the iconic Bellagio Fountains. There were guests waiting in line for the hotel doors to open and as they entered, there were employees welcoming them and applauding. Everyone is so pleased to be back to work and to mark this special day for the city.”

Wynn Las Vegas reopened its doors at 10 a.m., a hotel representative shared with T+L, adding the hotel “looks forward to creating the great guest experiences we are known for throughout the day.”

George Markantonis, the president and chief operating officer of The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, welcomed back visitors in a video address on Twitter on Thursday.

“Know that this Venetian experience today will be even better than the ones that you’ve had before,” he said.

A transparent partition is seen between seats at a table game in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino.
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Plexiglass safety shield dividers are shown at the check-in desk at Bellagio Resort & Casino.
Ethan Miller/Getty

While casino floors may be open for business once again, they certainly look a lot different with social distancing a top priority, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board recommending limits of how many people should be at each table, some complete with plexiglass partitions. Hand sanitizer will be a regular sight on the casino floors and things like dice and roulette wheels will be disinfected regularly.

Guests are not mandated to wear masks but many hotels are strongly encouraging them to do so and are required to provide a guest with a face covering if they ask. Employees were seen donning face masks throughout Vegas' first day back in business.

Casinos in the state shut their doors in March before the state issued a formal stay at home order on April 1.

“We’ve taken every precaution possible. I don’t think you’re going to find a safer place to come than Las Vegas by June 4, with the protocols that we’ve put in place, than the testing that we’ve put in place, with the contact tracing that will be in place by that time,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak told The Associated Press last week. “We’re encouraging visitors to come and enjoy themselves and have a good time.”

In addition to casinos, the state has also allowed bars, swimming pools, waterparks, attractions like museums, movie theaters, and malls all to reopen with capacity restrictions, according to the governor. The state will also increase the size of allowed gatherings to up to 50 people. On May 9, the state opened restaurants with capacity limits.

Night clubs and day clubs along with live performances, however, will remain closed.

According to the Nevada Health Response, the state has recorded more than 8,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19,