Nevada’s Governor Steve Sisolak has put in place a number of increased restrictions to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), including a limit of 25% capacity on casinos, to be in place for the next three weeks.
The measures took effect yesterday (24 November) and were developed in partnership with public health experts, business and economic leaders.
Under the new restrictions restaurants, bars, casinos and gaming operations, gyms, fitness facilities and other businesses and activities will be limited to 25% of their applicable fire code capacity, a significant decrease from the previous limit of 50%.
Retail stores, including grocery stores, will continue to operate at 50% capacity. In addition, public gatherings will be limited to no more than 50 people, or 25% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is less.
No large events will be allowed to take place during this period.
In addition to restrictions on public spaces, private gatherings will also be limited to no more than 10 people from no more than two separate households, and the state’s face covering requirement is extended to private gatherings.
Nevadans must now wear a face covering at all times, whether indoors or outdoors, when around individuals from outside their households.
“As your Governor, I am confident that I did all I could to avoid further restrictions and keep us on the path forward, but now I must act. In this defining moment, I implore Nevadans to tap into their independent spirit and consider their own personal responsibility,” Governor Sisolak said.
“Ultimately, our individual actions decide whether we are going to prioritize getting our children into the classroom, allowing our businesses to operate under safe measures, and protecting our hospital system and healthcare workers,” he continued.
The restrictions come as the gaming sector in Nevada had begun making a recovery from the most severe impact of the pandemic. October was shown to be the sector’s strongest month since February, as total revenue for the month came to $822.7m, a 0.2% improvement on September’s $821.1m.
Last month, the state set a new record for sports betting handle, as stakes totalled $659.2m, beating the previous record of $614.1m, set in November last year.
For the Las Vegas Strip, however, revenue remained significantly down year-on-year, falling 30.2% from 2019 levels to $375.8m. This comprised $208.1m from slots (down 31.8%), and a further $167.6m from table, counter and card games (down 28.2%).