This Week in Gambling: Las Vegas braces for Omicron

We kick off the New Year with Las Vegas preparing for the worst, as the Omicron variant of coronavirus sweeps over the country. Enforcement of the Nevada mask mandate is being increased, with the Gaming Control Board "stepping up" enforcement at casinos.

New Years is upon us, and the Las Vegas mask mandate is still in effect. Now, the Nevada Gaming Control Board says a face mask crackdown on enforcement is coming for the big holiday weekend and moving forward. Their efforts come from the passage of Emergency Directive 045, which requires everyone to wear a face mask in all public indoor settings with substantial transmission of coronavirus. That includes those who are fully vaccinated.

This means that any person in a Las Vegas casino, restaurant, tavern, bar, nightclub, or other public setting will be required to wear a face mask. That applies not only to visitors and guests, but to casino and hospitality workers as well. The Board plainly stated “With another sharp increase in cases of Covid occurring in Nevada, the… Board expects each of its licensees to ensure compliance...”, adding that the Las Vegas mask mandate and the Board’s directive were written to adopt the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Board also made it clear that any licensee in violation of federal, state and local laws and regulations also violate Regulation 5.011, which the Board can use to seek disciplinary action via the Nevada Gaming Commission. This all comes as amid Las Vegas Omicron concerns, and the face mask crackdown could come with fines.

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