Nevada Tavern Mask Violations Could Carry $10K Fine

Posted on: August 25, 2021, 06:02h. 

Last updated on: August 25, 2021, 10:36h.

A Carson City tavern faces a fine after violating face mask regulations for the second time. Regulators could remove the establishment’s gaming license. However, some say the penalty isn’t sufficient.

Bette Larsen was identified as the owner of Timbers
Timbers, a Carson City, Nev. tavern, pictured above. The establishment may be fined $10,000 for alleged face mask violations. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The Carson City tavern is facing its second complaint from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The tavern was fined $5,000 last November after failing to enforce COVID health and safety guidelines. The board is now seeking $10,000 in fines for the second offense.

Bette Larsen was identified as the owner of Timbers. She was informed of state regulations last year.

Earlier this month, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) backed the fine amount proposed by the state Attorney General’s office. It needs to be reviewed by the Nevada Gaming Commission before it is issued.

Maskless Patrons

The new proposed fine comes from a May 5 inspection by an NGCB agent at Timbers. He reported seeing between 20 and 30 patrons not wearing face masks, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Nor were the visitors socially distanced. Three-bar employees failed to wear masks, the agent claimed, according to the report. Statewide face mask requirements were in effect at that time.

It is unclear why Larsen was not requiring masks. The bar’s website on Wednesday said, “Mask required.” It also says the establishment offers bar games.

Call for Harsher Punishment

“It’s important for everyone to do their part to stop the spread of COVID, especially now that the Delta variant is bringing hospitals to their knees and the potential exists for even deadlier variants to emerge if we do not get on top of this disease,” said Robert Jarvis, a professor at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law, to

Jarvis says the Attorney General should have been tougher on Larsen. Following the second offense, Jarvis said he would have moved to have Larsen’s license revoked.

Anthony Cabot, Distinguished Fellow in Gaming Law at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law, concurs.

“I am surprised that the Gaming Control Board only seeks a $10,000 fine for this second offense,” Cabot said. “If this was a second offense and an intentional disregarding of the requirements, the penalty could have been more severe — suspension or revocation — and the warning to other bars and taverns sterner that they cannot violate regulations based on their opinions regarding public health matters.”

Timbers’ Response

Timbers did not provide comment when reached out to the establishment.