LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Masks are no longer required inside Nevada casinos unless the business institutes its own policy.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board followed Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s decision Thursday to remove the state’s indoor mask mandate.
“Effective immediately, individuals are no longer required to wear a mask in public indoor settings in licensed gaming establishments, unless a local jurisdiction still imposes such a requirement,” the board said in a statement. “If a licensee is subject to a local jurisdiction’s requirement relating to masks, the board expects full compliance from the licensee.”
Masking in Nevada’s gaming establishments had been the board’s purview and not the governor.
“We have seen a rapid decline in case numbers coupled with declining hospitalizations; a drop of COVID-19 detected in wastewater, and a broader availability of testing and available treatments,” Sisolak said during a news conference Thursday.
Venues like Drai’s at The Cromwell tell 8 News Now that this is a breath of fresh air.
“For our employees, it’s going to be nice for them that they don’t have to be putting the mask over their nose,” Dustin Drai, vice president of entertainment and marketing for Drai’s Beachclub Nightclub, said. “Any employee who doesn’t feel comfortable and wants to continue to wear a mask, we support them 100%.”
Even though the business is half indoors and half outdoors, health and safety is the No. 1 priority for both guests and employees, he said.
Drai added he does not expect a bigger crowd until spring break and the summer season.
Hotels like The Strat believe the end of the mask mandate will help Las Vegas get to full recovery.
“It sends a big message that we are ready to get back to group business and normalcy,” Stephen Thayer, vice president and general manager of The Strat, said. “It’s been very confusing as to what the rules were. This makes it feel again like it’s normal.”
Thayer said he believes the end of the mandate will help attract guests to conventions and motivate crowds to entertainment venues.
“We’ve done vaccinations events at Circa for the past four months,” Derek Stevens, CEO and owner of the D Las Vegas and Circa, said. “For people who want to take the masks off, we are going to let them. For people that want to keep them, on that’s their prerogative.”
Both properties and venues said any employee or guest who chooses to keep the mask on will be respected.
Sisolak had come under increasing pressure as other states lifted their mask mandates. Nevada was one of a half-dozen states left with a mandate.