Nevada Mask Mandate Lifted Ahead of Super Bowl Weekend, Las Vegas Casinos Rejoice

Posted on: February 10, 2022, 03:05h. 

Last updated on: February 10, 2022, 03:49h.

The mandatory wearing of masks in Nevada is over. Governor Steve Sisolak (D) lifted the emergency health order today, February 10.

Nevada mask Las Vegas Super Bowl LVI
A maskless Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak breaks the news that masks are no longer required indoors. The major announcement comes as a slew of Super Bowl traffic is expected to arrive in Las Vegas this weekend for Super Bowl LVI. (Image: Governor Steve Sisolak/YouTube)

Effective immediately, face coverings are no longer required inside public buildings, including casinos, regardless of vaccination status. Public schools and businesses, however, still have the discretion to determine whether to require masks indoors.

Sisolak’s rescinding of the masking order comes just ahead of Super Bowl LVI. For the gaming industry, the economic engine of the state, the ditching of face masks is welcomed news.

I’m pleased and excited,” said MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle in a letter to employees. “I’m excited to see things beginning to return to normal after more than two long years.”

Hornbuckle explained that MGM employees in Nevada can also de-mask, as well as company workers in Mississippi, Ohio, New Jersey, and New York. MGM personnel in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Michigan must continue to wear masks because of state mask mandates remaining in place in those states.

Caesars Entertainment workers in Nevada heard from Stephanie Lepori, chief administrative and accounting officer.

We could not have reached this significant milestone without each of us working together and taking our health and safety measures seriously,” Lepori declared.

Guests and workers across the industry are being told that they are free to continue wearing face masks if they choose. Federal mandates require that masks continue to be worn on public school and transit busses, as well in Harry Reid International Airport.

Gaming Impact

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) promptly reacted to Sisolak’s ending of mandatory masks indoors. The state gaming regulator informed licensees that masks are no longer needed for patrons or employees.

However, the NGCB said local jurisdictions can still impose mask regulations.

“If a licensee is subject to a local jurisdiction’s requirement relating to masks, the Board expects full compliance from the licensee,” the NGCB Notice to Licensees explained.

For visitors planning to travel to the Las Vegas Strip this weekend, a local ordinance is of no concern. The Strip resides in an unincorporated section of Clark County, and county officials have expressed no desire to continue making people wear masks.

“It’s really an exciting day,” The Strat General Manager Stephen Thayer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We’re not out of the pandemic yet. But this is a great start to getting back to normalcy.”

The Super Bowl is typically a busy time in Las Vegas, and that should be especially true with the Los Angeles Rams in the big game. The Super Bowl lures in many weekenders from Southern California to watch the big game on a sportsbook big screen.

Mask Easing Eases Job Requirements

Sisolak’s ending of the mask mandate is welcomed news to casinos, but also casino workers. Gaming employees — especially table game dealers — have voiced annoyance with being given the added responsibility of telling guests to put on a mask or wear one properly.

Nobody wants to be the mask police,” Thayer concluded. “This allows our employees to focus back on what we do best here in Las Vegas — the customer experience and guest service.”