“#Face coverings are now mandatory at Las Vegas casinos”
June 25, 2020 | 8:30pm
Nevada will now require face coverings outside and in all indoor spaces where people convene — including casinos, officials announced Thursday.
The order, from Gov. Steve Sisolak, comes as the state grapples with a spike in cases since reopening in early June, and after many gamblers have been observed ignoring any sort of COVID-19 safety measures while hitting the Vegas Strip.
“No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service,” Sisolak said Wednesday. “For Nevada to stay safe and stay open, we must make face coverings a routine part of our daily life.”
The state is joining several others that have mandated face coverings to stifle post-lockdown coronavirus case increases, including California, North Carolina and Washington.
Nevada has recorded more than 14,860 coronavirus cases as of Thursday evening, along with more than 490 related deaths.
Nevada’s mandate carves out exemptions for those with medical conditions and disabilities, as well as children between the ages 2 and 9.
Violators could face civil or criminal penalties, according to the order, but Sisolak said he would try to avoid such outcomes.
“The last thing I want is for monetary fines or criminal penalties to be imposed on Nevadans, which is why I strongly encourage everyone to follow this directive,” Sisolak said.
Casinos could also face disciplinary action from the Nevada Gambling Commission for allowing patrons to bare their full poker face indoors, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
“We will continue to explore those instances where behaviors have merited some form of disciplinary action,” Gaming Control Board Member Terry Johnson told commissioners Thursday, the paper reported.
“Where warranted, the board will take [action] and that may involve the Gaming Commission at some point, should matters proceed to hearings, or in worst-case scenarios — which I do not anticipate — where there is willful refusal to comply with the governor’s directives.”
Johnson said the board hasn’t yet hashed out “appropriate disciplinary action” for noncompliance, but is mulling possible suspensions of gaming licenses.
“We do expect cooperation and we’ll commit the resources necessary to assist the gaming licensees maintain compliance,” he added.
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