Caesars Entertainment now requiring facial masks at properties country-wide Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · June 24, 2020 at 5:15 pm Caesars Entertainment became the first major gaming operator to require facial masks be worn at all times inside the company’s casinos nationwide, except when eating or drinking. The move became effective Wednesday. The updated mask policy applies to all employees, guests, vendors, contractors, and passersby in properties. Previously, all employees, plus guests at table games, were required to wear masks at Caesars properties. In Nevada, most casino operators have required employees to wear facial coverings since the gaming industry reopened on June 4 following a 78-day closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, guests to the casinos were not required to wear masks, although state gaming regulators asked casinos to “strongly encourage” masks to be worn. Last week, the Nevada Gaming Control Board updated its coronavirus health and safety policies for resort casino operators and required patrons to wear facial masks or face coverings at table games unless there is a partition or shield that separates the dealer from each player. Over the weekend, Caesars ran a promotion in Las Vegas in which a team awarded $20 in free slot machine play to customers wearing masks while gambling or strolling the casino floor at Caesars Palace, Paris, Flamingo, The Linq, and Harrah’s. In total, 375 guests earned $7,500. Caesars has reopened commercial casinos in Louisiana, Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, and Indiana, and tribal casinos in Arizona, California, and North Carolina. In a statement, the company said the mask policy applies to additional Caesars properties as they reopen in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, and Ontario (Canada). In a statement, Caesars CEO Tony Rodio said “scientific evidence strongly suggests that wearing masks and practicing social distancing may be the most important deterrents to spreading COVID-19 from person to person.” The casino giant, he said, promised it would “continue to evaluate the latest recommendations, directives, and medical science regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and modify our enhanced health and safety protocols accordingly.” Caesars said it would take steps to ensure that everyone inside its properties wears a mask. “Anyone who refuses to wear a mask, after being asked, will be directed to leave the property,” the company said in the statement. Caesars will continue to implement its enhanced health and safety requirements in its revised operating plans. Among the protocols are more frequent cleaning and sanitization. Caesars has also implemented a health screening program for all employees. #exclusive – Caesars Entertainment says facial masks now required to be worn throughout all the company’s casinos. –@howardstutz, CDC Gaming Reports. https://t.co/HXKZVGbxZ4 #CDCgaming @CaesarsEnt — CDC Gaming Reports (@CDCNewswire) June 24, 2020 On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Atlantic City’s nine casinos could reopen on July 2 with 25% occupancy and with health and safety requirements including a directive that all those who enter one of the properties – employees and patrons – wear facial masks. Caesars operates three casinos in Atlantic City. Culinary Workers Local 226, which represents non-gaming employees inside Las Vegas casino-resorts, restated its request on Monday for all employees to wear facial masks inside properties. Caesars has contracts with the Culinary covering its casinos. In a statement, Culinary Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Argüello-Kline said the Control Board should adopt the recommendations by the Southern Nevada Health District with respect to requiring face coverings by all persons in public, as well as mandatory and regular testing of all frontline employees in casino hotels. “It’s a victory for workers that Caesars Entertainment is now requiring masks for all customers in public spaces,” Argüello-Kline. “A mandatory mask policy is a good step towards protecting workers and the hospitality industry in Nevada, but much more has to be done. Now, all other Nevada casinos must adopt the same mandatory mask policy, and Governor (Steve) Sisolak should mandate that they do so as well.” Sisolak is scheduled to give an update Wednesday afternoon in Carson City on Nevada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of positive coronavirus tests has increased in the past few weeks. On Tuesday, the state reported 462 new COVID-19 cases, a single-day record, pushing the number to more than 14,000 cases statewide. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.