- If recent coronavirus data in Nevada proves promising, Las Vegas may open back up for business next Friday.
- Casino floors and restaurants at many resorts may reopen. Bars, clubs, and other types of live entertainment, however, will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
- Gamblers at casino tables can expect to see a host of new rules designed to keep cards and dice clean.
Las Vegas, a city typically overflowing with tourists at all hours of the night, has effectively been a ghost town since the city implemented strict quarantine measures back in March. Now, as many states begin to implement their plans to reopen, the place affectionately — or perhaps derisively — referred to as Sin City is poised to open back up for business on June 4.
According to Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, the typically bustling Las Vegas strip is tentatively scheduled to reopen next Thursday, provided, of course, that the number of coronavirus cases doesn’t skyrocket unexpectedly. A final determination is set to be made this week so that officials can gauge updated coronavirus figures that encapsulate the Memorial Day weekend.
“If Nevada’s COVID-19 data continues to reflect positive or consistent trends through the Memorial Day Weekend,” an official said, “the Governor will announce a Phase 2 reopening date at the Tuesday press conference, along with business reopening and statewide continuing operation guidelines.”
Should Vegas open back up, it remains to be seen how casinos will adjust to the new coronavirus reality we find ourselves living in. After all, money, cards, and chips are routinely handled and incessantly passed back and forth between players and dealers. This type of dynamic could make it incredibly easy for the coronavirus to spread. What we do know is that most casino tables will now limit the number of people who can gamble at a time to four. Additionally, some games may remain closed for the time being.
New state Gaming Control Board regulations require that casinos disinfect surfaces and give “increased attention” to high-touch hotel items like television remote controls and light switches. Dice will be disinfected between shooters, chips cleaned periodically and card decks changed frequently.
As it stands now, full details remain murky but some casinos have been busy developing guidelines to ensure a safe gambling environment for patrons. We should know more about how casinos plan to proceed later this week when the Nevada Gaming Control Board provides us with additional information regarding new safety protocols.
It’s worth noting that not every casino is poised to open next week. While some resorts are hoping to only reopen their restaurants and hotels, others may only reopen their casino floors. Meanwhile, bars, buffets, and dance clubs will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Lastly, a gripping photo series detailing what Vegas looks like while on lockdown can be seen over here.