LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Signs that read “face masks required” were still posted around Emerald Island Casino Thursday afternoon. Owner Tim Brooks was just waiting for the signal from the Nevada Gaming Control Board to lift the mandate.

"This is actually a blessing in disguise,” Brooks said. “I don’t think it’s going to have an adverse effect on business I think it’s going to send a strong message to our guests and to the people of Nevada that ‘hey this thing might finally be over.’"

Virus Outbreak Vegas Casinos

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, a woman watches the fountains at the Bellagio hotel-casino along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. Gambling giant MGM Resorts International is joining the growing number of Las Vegas Strip casinos with state regulatory approval to open casino floors at 100% capacity and no person-to-person distancing requirement. The company said Wednesday, May 12, 2021, it got Nevada Gaming Control Board approval for the Bellagio, ARIA, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, New York-New York, Luxor, Excalibur and Park MGM. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

The Wynn became the first casino to publicly announce it was lifting its mask mandate for fully vaccinated guests. The resort will use an honor system and trust guests to take the appropriate precautions based on their vaccine status. 

Brooks said that his casino will likely follow a similar strategy.

"With herd immunity and everybody getting the vaccine, I don't think they would have brought it this far if they didn't feel comfortable. There are always going to be some people that will try to skirt the system,” Brooks said.

The Gaming Control Board is following the governor’s new guidance that aligns with the CDC. The board said it won’t require or stop casinos from confirming guest vaccinations. Casinos can also choose to have more restrictive COVID-19 rules when it comes to masks, social distancing and capacity.

Although the majority will likely ditch the face coverings, Brooks predicts some vaccinated guests won’t gamble taking off the mask.

Emerald Island floor manager Jeff Wiley said lifting the requirement will make it easier to communicate with customers.

"The biggest part is when you're trying to talk to guests you can't really see the facial expressions. With all of the noises people have a tendency to read lips,” Wiley said. “It’s a lot more difficult when the masks are on, so it’s definitely going to be a huge customer experience lift for us."

Brooks said they have not decided what the requirement will be for employees.


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(3) comments


What was encouraging was going into 2 different stores yesterday and seeing at least a couple people, both young and older, without masks, and nobody said anything to them. Good! Definitely a step in the right direction. I really doubt that business will force the issue of some sort of proof of vaccinations. Things have been hard enough and they really don't want to alienate the custody have.


Now it is time for all the casinos to open their buffets.


Seeing people still wearing a mask in the next few months when not absolutely required....will just be like a shining light showing which people are the biggest moronic sheep in the country.

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