KEY POINTS

  • Las Vegas casinos plan to reopen June 4 with new safety protocols
  • However, poker rooms and slot machines will remain closed
  • Face masks will be provided, but not mandatory for guests

Las Vegas is set to reopen following the coronavirus lockdown, but guests should expect some changes and restrictions as part of the safety measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak set June 4 as tentative reopening date for casinos statewide, after two weeks of continued decrease in both new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Sisolak plans to hold a press conference Tuesday about the next phases of reopening, should the positive trends continue throughout the Memorial Day weekend, Global News reported.

Part of Las Vegas' reopening plan includes availability of free parking in all the hotels across the city. In the casinos, bartenders as well as blackjack dealers will be wearing masks, and hand sanitizer dispensers will be everywhere. Poker rooms, however, will be closed. Slot machines will also be shut down to discourage players from sitting near each other.

Virginia Valentine, president and CEO of the Nevada Resort Association, said in an emailed statement to Las Vegas Review-Journal that Sisolak's announcement was "fantastic news" and their members have spent more than two months in preparation for Vegas' reopening.

"They've put in place enhanced health and safety plans and protocols … Our members are excited to show off the enhancements they've made that preserve the experience while ensuring the well-being of our employees and visitors," Valentine said.

Casinos are required to submit their plans for reopening, which will require approval at least seven days before they start working. Other businesses such as nightclubs, day clubs, buffets, and large venues will remain closed — including the Cirque du Soleil.

According to Fox News, Sean McBurney, general manager at Caesars Palace, said guests should expect to see a lot of social distancing. "If there's crowding, it's every employee's responsibility to ensure there's social distancing," he said.

Guests will also see signs everywhere that remind them to wash their hands, maintain physical distancing, and limit gatherings to four people when possible.

The most striking difference will be a limit on games and participants: four players only at roulette (originally up to seven), and six at craps (originally up to 16 players). Plastic partitions will be installed to separate dealers from players and the players from each other.

In addition, dice will be disinfected between shooters, chips cleaned periodically, and card decks changed frequently. At some resorts, guests will be encouraged to use mobile phones for touchless check-ins, as room keys, and to read restaurant menus.

Wynn Resorts properties and The Venetian plan to use thermal imaging cameras at every entrance to detect people with fever.

Gaming Control Board regulations require surfaces to be disinfected, according to federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and high-touch hotel items like television remote controls and light switches should be paid "increased attention".

According to Global News, guests will be given free face masks, but will not be forced to use them. However, masks are mandatory for every employee in all Las Vegas resorts.

Las Vegas at night Las Vegas plans to reopen with new safety protocols and restrictions. Photo: Justin Kenneth Rowley / Flickr