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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Casino City’s Friday Five: Las Vegas face mask edition

26 Jun 2020

By Dan Ippolito
1. Face masks now required in Nevada
When Nevada casinos and resorts reopened earlier this month on 4 June, employees were required to wear face coverings and guests were “encouraged” to do so, as well. However, on 15 June it became a requirement for any guest to also wear a face mask even at table and card games unless there was a plexiglass barrier between dealers and players.

Unfortunately, Nevada has been seeing some record numbers over the last week in COVID-19 cases. So, in an attempt to slow spreading, the Nevada Gaming Control Board adjusted the policy once again this week, making it a requirement for any visitor in a public place, which includes sitting at a table game with plexiglass barriers.

Some casino operators began implementing their own rules before this announcement for face masks as well.

MGM Resorts International announced that it will require masks for all guests and visitors inside public spaces at every MGM Resorts property in the U.S. Face masks will be provided at the properties free of charge. On Thursday, Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced that everyone indoors at its properties across the Caesars network will be required to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking.

While face masks led the charge this week in casino news stories, here are a few others that captured some headlines.

2. Atlantic City casinos can reopen, sans “knuckleheads”
Just in time for Independence Day, Atlantic City casinos will begin welcoming back guests on 2 July at a 25% capacity limit.

Governor Phil Murphy said, effective immediately, outdoor gatherings may now increase from 100 to 250 persons maximum and indoor gatherings are limited to 25% capacity, without exceeding 100 persons. He added in the Twitter thread that New Jersey is one of only four states on track to “contain #COVID19.” He also said that he is not going to tolerate “knuckleheads” who could ruin the reopening for others trying to enjoy it.

Resort Casino Hotel developed a “Play Safe, Work Safe” plan that includes a “significant capital investment to improve air quality.” In addition, casino and hotel elevators will be limited to a maximum occupancy of four people, employees will be required to wear masks, only every other slot machine will be available for play and there will be limited seating at all table games.

Another casino on the famed Boardwalk, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Atlantic City, revealed a “Safe + Sound” reopening plan, including the requirement “for all to wear masks and have their temperature scanned with thermal imaging technology before entering the property.”

3. Massachusetts casinos will reopen without poker, craps and roulette
On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted unanimously 5-0 to approve detailed guidelines, outlining the minimum requirements for the reopening of Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino.

The commission agreed that all three casinos will promote social distancing of slots play by either maintaining a minimum of 6’ distance between operating slot positions or by installing plexiglass dividers not less than 6’ high between operating slot positions.

For table games at Encore, which just opened a year ago this week, and MGM, which became the a href="http://garytrask.casinocitytimes.com/article/top-10-first-impressions-of-the-new-mgm-springfield-casino-66331"> first full blown casino resort to open in the Bay State in the summer of 2018, licensees will install plexiglass dividers at blackjack-style tables no less than 5-foot-10 tall separating dealer from player positions and between player positions. There will be no more than three player positions at each blackjack-style table, with chairs for unavailable positions removed. The commission also ruled that there will be no poker, craps or roulette until further notice.

Guests will be screened upon entry and required to wear face masks, which will be provided if needed. Employees will also be subject to screening procedures including temperature checks and will be required to wear face masks.

4. Circa Resort & Casino now accepting reservations
After announcing that it would open two months ahead of schedule on 28 October, Circa Resort & Casino is ready to begin accepting reservations.

Downtown Las Vegas’ first ground-up gaming resort since 1980, is now taking reservations for its anticipated guestrooms and suites with first rooms available on 28 December 2020. Circa will welcome guests ages 21 and over, marking the first adults-only resort and casino in Las Vegas.

“From the beginning, I envisioned Circa to be a resort that pays homage to Las Vegas’ vibrant past while introducing bold, modern elements; this will certainly shine through in our room and suite collection,” said Derek Stevens, Circa’s CEO.

5. DraftKings launches mobile casino app in New Jersey
Big news out of New Jersey where DraftKings announced the launch of its standalone casino app, featuring new games only found on DraftKings, plus revamped classics, including blackjack and roulette.

In addition to popular slot and table games native to DraftKings Casino, the new app will also offer games from third-party providers including International Gaming Technology, Slingo and Scientific Game.

“Following our debut in the Garden State, we look forward to continued innovation, nationwide expansion where regulations allow, and to further positioning DraftKings as an all-inclusive gaming and entertainment experience,” said Jason March, DraftKings’ Vice President of Gaming.
 
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