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April 18, 2021

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Nevada Gaming Control Board to conduct health, safety workshop with casinos

Nevada Gaming Control Board to conduct health, safety workshop with casinos
Gov. Steve Sisolak allowed a May 9 partial return of customers to restaurants, salons, and other nonessential businesses. But he kept casinos, nightclubs, spas, and gyms closed.
United States | 05/21/2020

The session is aimed at sharpening rules for reopening the state’s shuttered gambling establishments and could help show when Gov. Steve Sisolak will lift his mid-March order that closed casinos to prevent groups from gathering and spreading coronavirus.

T

he Nevada Gaming Control Board have called casino companies to a workshop scheduled for Tuesday with health and safety officials that could provide clues to when the state's shuttered casino industry will reopen.

Six health and safety experts have been invited to address the board in a videoconference, followed by board deliberations and possible action.

Gov. Steve Sisolak allowed a May 9 partial return of customers to restaurants, salons, and other nonessential businesses. But he kept casinos, nightclubs, spas, and gyms closed, along with indoor movie theaters, community centers, tattoo parlors, strip clubs, and brothels.

A control board statement said regulators will determine how reopening will occur and the governor will determine when, so the workshop is aimed at sharpening rules for reopening the state’s shuttered gambling establishments.

Some Las Vegas resorts are taking reservations and aiming for a June 1 reopening — while warning customers that plans remained subject to change; and several companies have also submitted reopening plans to the Control Board. The plans are required at least seven days in advance of reopening by board policy.

By statute, regulators are keeping the plans confidential and they won’t say which casinos have submitted plans, although some of them have made them public and have posted them on their websites.

Nevada is on track to be one of the last states to reopen casinos, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Tribal operations in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington have reopened. The first commercial casinos have reopened in South Dakota, Louisiana and Arkansas, and Mississippi casinos are scheduled to reopen Thursday.

Most of those that have reopened have placed limits on the number of patrons allowed on the casino floor. Nevada regulators have already said when casinos reopen that entry would be limited to 50 percent of capacity listed in local fire codes.

When the Control Board meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, the agenda includes scheduled presentations from:

  • Caleb Cage, COVID-19 response director for the state, on coordination of resources across federal, state and local entities
  • Mason Van Houweling, CEO of University Medical Center in Las Vegas, on UMC’s partnerships with gaming resorts to administer COVID-19 tests, telemedicine capabilities and future testing capacity
  • Fermin Leguen, district health officer for the Southern Nevada Health District, on testing, contact tracing and the district’s guidance and policies
  • John Steinbeck, chief of the Clark County Fire Department, on its Emergency Management’s COVID-19 response, including Southern Nevada community-based testing
  • Anthony Slonim, president and CEO of Renown Health, on its future testing capacity
  • Dean Dow, president and CEO of the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority in Washoe County, on its COVID-19 response capabilities and its Ready Responders partnership

Nevada health officials on Wednesday reported 7,166 positive cases of COVID-19 and 373 deaths, the Associated Press reports.

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