Virus Outbreak Nevada

The Las Vegas Strip is deserted as casinos and other business are closed because of the coronavirus outbreak, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Thursday approved guidelines for reopening the state's casinos.

As part of the guidelines, while using GCB's policy as a guide, each nonrestricted licensee must create and implement a plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and infectious diseases. All plans must be submitted to the board at least seven days before reopening occurs, according to the board.

Health and safety procedures once operational

Once reopened, according to the Gaming Control Board, "signage should be posted throughout the property reminding employees and patrons of proper hygiene, including, without limitation, proper handwashing, how to cover coughs and sneezes, and to avoid touching their faces."

If a licensee learns of a case of COVID-19 at its property, it must communicate the case to and cooperate with its local health authorities. "All employees should receive clear instructions on how to properly and efficiently respond to all presumed cases of COVID-19," the Gaming Control Board said. 

Gaming Machines

Plans submitted to the board must ensure that the floor plan for gaming machines creates proper social distancing between patrons. "For example, chairs and stools in front of every other gaming machines could be removed so that patrons do not sit next to each another, or licensees could propose other measures to ensure proper distance between patrons."

The board also suggests that licensees should assign employees to focus on ensuring that guests do not congregate in groups.

Likewise, plans must address how gaming machines, devices, chairs, and other ancillary equipment will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis, the board advises.

Submitted plans should also address the availability of hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes for patron use on the gaming floor.

Table games and card games

According to the board, plans must limit the number of patrons based on type of game to ensure proper distance between players by limiting the number of seats or betting positions per table. "For example, player limit per table should be limited to: 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. Licensees should ensure dealers have hand sanitizer available to offer to patrons throughout their shifts," the Gaming Control Board noted.

Plans must also detail cleaning and disinfection of, without limitation, table games, rails, chairs, dice, shufflers, roulette wheels, Pai Gow tiles, among others. The document should also specify how licensees will disinfect cards and chips.

Occupancy limits

In order to comply with social distancing guidelines issued by federal, state, and local health authorities, plans submitted must limit a property’s occupancy to no more than fifty percent of the occupancy limit assigned to each gaming area of the property by local building and fire codes, according to the board.

The plans should include how licensees will comply with the occupancy reduction. The board suggested head counts by security personnel, utilization of a licensee’s existing surveillance systems, and making use of a licensee’s slot accounting system to aid in monitoring the number of patrons on the casino floor.

Restaurants and bars

According to the guidelines, all restaurants and bars at a licensee's property should have reduced seating in accordance with federal, state, and local guidance to allow for appropriate distancing between each table and between patrons.

Meeting and convention spaces

Any meeting and banquet arrangements, according to the guidelines, should allow for social distancing among attendees during all meetings and events based on federal, state, and local recommendations. In accordance with CDC guidelines, gatherings of 250 people or more are prohibited until further notice is provided by the Gaming Control Board, as noted in the document.

Nightclubs and dayclubs

As per the guidelines, all nightclubs and dayclubs within a licensee’s property must be closed until further notice.

To view the Gaming Control Board's full guidelines, visit:

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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(1) comment


I've cancelled my May trip to Las Vegas because of the "social distancing" provisions (PC hysteria) ordered by the gaming board. Vegas fun is about the crowds & nightclubs. Take them away & it's just another post-Katrina New Orleans--another place I no longer vacation. Hoping the casino corps put their feet down & say "enough is enough."

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