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Control Board issues notice on end of COVID-19 casino restrictions

The Nevada Gaming Control Board made it official Wednesday: All restrictions related to COVID-19 mitigation protocols in casinos come to an end when the clock strikes midnight at the end of Monday.

In a notice to gaming licensees, Gaming Control Board Chairman Brin Gibson said, “Each licensee shall comply with its respective county’s general capacity and occupancy limitations and social distancing requirements, as detailed in the county’s local plan, within the licensee’s gaming areas. As of June 1, 2021, none of Nevada’s counties will retain social distancing or occupancy limitations that would apply to a gaming licensee.”

Gibson’s notice said the Control Board is no longer taking formal requests to increase capacity on the gaming floor prior to June 1.

The notification comes days before tourists are expected to flood Las Vegas for the first three-day weekend since February when COVID protocols were still in place.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is not issuing an estimate on the number of visitors expected to be in the city over the weekend since previous crowd estimates were based on historic data and the city is in the early stages of post-pandemic recovery.

The Control Board on Tuesday confirmed that its agents would continue to enforce Gov. Steve Sisolak’s COVID-19 directives over the Memorial Day weekend.

The board’s Enforcement Division — staffed every day, year-round, around the clock — will enforce directives until they’re lifted Tuesday, according to James Taylor, the board’s chief of enforcement.

The Control Board’s notice came on the same day the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted unanimously to rescind COVID-19-related orders in that state at 12:01 a.m., Saturday.

Massachusetts had placed further restrictions on roulette, blackjack and craps play.

Licensees will continue to report any positive COVID-19 tests related to the gaming establishment to the commission’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau and their respective local boards of health.

Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Resorts International operate casinos in Massachusetts.

“It’s been 15 months since the Gaming Commission convened with all three casino licensees in a virtual setting to discuss the rapid reach of the coronavirus pandemic,” Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said Wednesday. “The three gaming licensees have cooperated fully throughout this process, working always to serve the public’s interests and protect their patrons and employees.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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