Fri, Jun 5, 8:56am by Charlotte Lee
Nevada is allowing some hotels and casinos to reopen this week as part of the second phase of the state’s reopening plan.
Business Insider reports the casinos won’t look quite the same as they did before the pandemic.
Before reopening, casinos must submit a plan to the Nevada Gaming Control Board that ensures proper hygiene and social distancing measures will be in place.
For MGM Resorts, whose Las Vegas properties include Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and New York-New York, that means enacting a “Seven-Point Safety Plan” that calls for employee screening, social distancing, enhanced cleaning protocols, and hand-washing stations on casino floors.
Employees will be required to wear masks, while guests will be encouraged to do so.
In some parts of the resort, like at roulette tables, guests will be required to wear masks.
MGM Resorts gave an early look at its new health and safety measures, having been closed since March 17.
— MGM Grand Hotel (@MGMGrand) June 4, 2020
A number of Las Vegas casinos said that they will be reopening this week after being closed for more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Yahoo news reports The Bellagio, New York-New York, Caesars Palace and the Flamingo are some of the resorts that will open their doors on June 4, with strict social distancing practices in effect.
“We welcome the visitors from across the country to come here, to have a good time, no different than they did previously, but we’re going to be cautious,” Governor Steve Sisolak told reporters.
Sisolak said he made the decision to reopen the multi-billion dollar gaming industry, the bedrock of Nevada’s economy, following consultations with health experts.
“We’ve taken every precaution possible,” he said.
“I don’t think you’re going to find a safer place to come than Las Vegas by June 4, with the protocols we have put in place, with the testing we have put in place, with the contact tracing that will be in place by that time,” he added.
“We’re encouraging visitors to come and enjoy themselves and have a good time.”
The Gaming Control Board issued guidelines this month on the reopening of casinos, including limiting them to half-capacity and restricting to three the number of people at the gaming table.
It also recommended the removal of every other chair at slot machines to maintain safe social distancing margins.
Casinos workers, however, have balked at returning to work without enhanced measures to protect them.
The Culinary Union, which represents some 60,000 Las Vegas workers said in a statement: “This is a matter of life-or-death for workers, and I urge everyone to proceed very deliberately and very carefully.”
“Culinary Union members and other casino workers will become frontline workers because we are the ones who will interact with guests daily and frequently.”
The union is demanded workers who will be most exposed be tested regularly for coronavirus and given protective equipment if needed.
“What happens if someone who arrives in Vegas asymptomatic develops symptoms here and decides to hole up in their room for a couple of days instead of asking for medical attention?” the union said.
MGM Resorts’ acting chief executive and president Bill Hornbuckle said the company will be following a set of protocols to mitigate the spread of the virus, including increased testing of employees, contactless check-in and digital menus.
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