A spokesman for the Nevada Gaming Control Board said on Monday that state casinos will not require the use of masks, and that facial covering directives at casinos will only be instated if they come from Governor Steve Sisolak. The decision comes as some state counties, communities and facilities begin reinstating their mandates.
In comparison, visitors to other state locations, such as the Nellis Air Force Base and the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, are currently being required indoor mask-wearing, regardless of vaccination status, now that Clark County has been federally designated as having a high community level of COVID-19.
Masking requirements at locations such as the visitors center at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area went into effect on Friday: all federal facilities in communities with high COVID-19 levels would fall under the restriction, reports Las Vegas Review-Journal. But this is not the case for casinos.
Given the fact that Sisolak has not issued such an order, Control Board spokesman Michael Lawton said the Board would not introduce a requirement. Virginia Valentine, president and CEO of the Nevada Resort Association, stated the resort industry would comply with orders if directed.
Virginia Valentine, president and CEO of the Nevada Resort Association
“The resort industry continues to comply with all state and local health and safety requirements including directives from Nevada’s gaming regulators. Resorts have masks available for those who wish to wear one," Valentine said in a statement.
"Our members recognize the decision to wear a mask indoors is a personal choice based on individual preference and circumstances," the text further reads. "We urge eligible individuals to become fully vaccinated and boosted to protect themselves and their loved ones as vaccination remains the best defense."
Meanwhile, UNLV has recommended that students and staff return to wearing masks in public indoor spaces, but did not mandate them. This comes as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted in the United States: last week, President Joe Biden’s administration ended the pre-departure testing mandate for international air travelers to the country on June 12.
American Gaming Association’s President and CEO Bill Miller celebrated this decision in a statement and said: “By welcoming back international business and leisure travelers, the American gaming industry and our nation’s hospitality sector can fully recover. This move puts the United States on equal footing with other countries and will provide a major boost to our nation’s travel and hospitality industries."