Regulator: Nevada casino operators could be disciplined if customers don’t wear masks Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · June 26, 2020 at 7:01 am A Nevada Gaming Control Board member said the agency may seek “disciplinary action” against casino operators if they do not comply with a new directive by the governor requiring that masks or facial coverings be worn by everyone in public locations, including inside gaming properties. Control Board member Terry Johnson, in response to a question from the Nevada Gaming Commission during a public hearing Thursday, said gaming agents are monitoring casinos currently operating under COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Casino operators are expected to enforce social distancing protocols and ensure their guests are wearing masks. Health and safety officials have said that wearing masks and practicing social distancing can deter the spread of COVID-19 from person to person. The order officially goes into effect Friday. Nevada casinos reopened on June 4 following 78 days of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan said last week that gaming agents had visited Nevada casinos and were concerned with an evident lack of protection for employees and customers. Johnson told the commission there may have been instances where disciplinary action might have been warranted. He said the Gaming Commission could become involved in disciplinary action in “worst-case scenarios where there is willful refusal to comply with the governor’s directives.” Johnson added, however, he did not anticipate that action being needed. Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a directive Wednesday for Nevadans and visitors to cover their noses and mouths with a mask or other face covering when in a public space. “For Nevada to stay safe and stay open, we must make face coverings a routine part of our daily life,” Sisolak said. Gaming companies, including Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International, and Las Vegas Sands, quickly applauded the governor’s decision and said they would enforce the wearing of masks. Caesars Entertainment, in a statement, said that “anyone who refuses to wear a mask, after being asked, will be directed to leave the property.” Johnson told the Gaming Commission that regulators expect cooperation from casino operators and that the Board will assist the gaming licensees in maintaining compliance with the directive. Less than half of Strip resorts reopened initially under the social distancing conditions and restrictions implemented by the Control Board, which includes a 50% limit on capacity, a reduced number of slot machines, and fewer seats at gaming tables. Additional properties have announced reopenings through July 1, in time for the July 4th holiday weekend. Johnson told the Gaming Commission some casinos may remain closed longer than anticipated and may require more time to reopen. “That might present, at some point, an administrative issue… we may need to enlist the assistance of the commission in regard to licensees that might need to stay closed longer than a calendar quarter,” Johnson said. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.