Nevada extends 25% capacity cap for another month

Gaming floors, bars and restaurants will continue to operate at 25 per cent capacity.
Gaming floors, bars and restaurants will continue to operate at 25 per cent capacity.

The restrictions will stand until January 15, although Gov. Sisolak warned he would take stricter measures if Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

US.- The state of Nevada has extended its 25 per cent capacity cap on casinos as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Governor Steve Sisolak has announced that the reduced occupancy limit placed on gaming floors, bars and restaurants will be extended until January 15.

Casino auditoriums will also face continued tighter restrictions, with the mandate permitting them to operate with no more than 50 people in the audience or at 25 per cent capacity, whichever number is lower.

The reduced capacity limits announced last month had been due to expire this Tuesday (December 15)

Gov. Sisolak will review the number of Covid-19 cases in the state again before January 15 to decide whether or not the mandate should stay in place longer. The Governor warned that he would take stricter measures if the number of cases continues to rise.

Some casinos have complained that the new measures make things even more difficult for operators, guests and workers in an industry that is already suffering the economic consequences of the pandemic.

The Las Vegas casino industry has been slow to see a recovery after the initial pandemic lockdown given its dependence on tourism and large conferences. The downturn has led to layoffs at several casino companies.

But Gov. Sisolak said that the fear of jobs losses was the reason he was allowing casinos to stay open with reduced capacities in place rather than close completely.

He said: “I lose sleep at night because when we were under a stay-at-home order in the spring, we lost a quarter of a million jobs in three months in this state, and that’s largely due to casinos being closed for 78 days straight.

“These are the folks we are fighting to protect — it’s the hundreds of thousands of Nevadans who take pride in showing up for work every single day and the ability that gives them to provide for their families. If we take that away, the bottom falls out for our entire state.” 

An AGA report released last week showed that the gaming industry had begun to display signs of recovery despite continued coronavirus restrictions in place, mainly through sports betting and igaming.