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As Arizona Casinos Close Again, Will The Strip Be Next?

In this June 4, 2020 file photo, a man plays craps at the reopening of the Bellagio hotel and casino. in Las Vegas.
(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

In this June 4, 2020 file photo, a man plays craps at the reopening of the Bellagio hotel and casino. in Las Vegas.

In Arizona, tribal casinos that opened with COVID-19 restrictions similar to Nevada are reclosing as the virus takes hold again.

But Nevada's Gaming Control Board just announced requirements for people at table games to wear masks if plastic shields aren't in place. And cashless gaming could be coming soon.

Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business, told State of Nevada that from what he's observed Nevada casinos are trying to follow safety guidelines.

“From all the things that I’ve seen, the casinos are observing the CDC guidelines that have been put in place. I really think they’re doing a pretty good job at this point,” he said.

While casinos might be doing a pretty good job of following the rules, he noted that only about 25 percent of the customers are wearing masks in Strip casinos and about 40 percent in locals' casinos.

However, Gros doesn't believe the Gaming Control Board will mandate masks, beyond the rules established this week, anytime soon.

“I think they want to Las Vegas and Nevada more player-friendly so I think they’re going to resist that as long as they can but if it happens, it happens. I would rather see everyone wearing a mask rather than close down again,” he said.

Despite the precautions, there have been a handful of employees who have tested positive for the virus. Gros said nobody is surprised by that.

“I think you’re seeing this in every sort of business around the country. The casinos aren’t any different," he said.

He said employees are being tested, and when someone is positive, they're asked about who they've come in contact with so health officials can talk to them and have them self-isolate.

Overall, Gros believes the reopening of Las Vegas needed to happen, and so far, is going smoothly

Roger Gros, publisher, Global Gaming Business

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.