$20 to considerate players
To encourage gamblers to wear protective face coverings while playing slot machines, Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas surprised some patrons this weekend with free gifts. Posts from the Caesars Palace, Paris, and Flamingo Twitter accounts show staff members doling out $20 in free slots play to happy customers.
This appears to be an unofficial promotion, as there has been no formal announcement made by Caesars. It is not known if other Caesars properties around the United States are doing the same thing. The lucky winners seem to be selected randomly, though they do need to be Caesars Rewards members.
Face masks are not required at electronic gaming machines such as slots and video poker, though they are mandatory at table games. Some Twitter commenters criticized Caesars for rewarding face mask wearers when they believe the company should just require all guests to wear them.
Safety requirements have gotten more strict
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak originally permitted Nevada casinos to reopen on June 4. The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) required the casinos to implement a slew of health and safety measures, but only casino employees had to wear face masks.
Videos and photos from opening week showed that most casino guests did not bother with face protection, except where required by the casinos themselves.
Because of an increase in COVID-19 cases since the first wave of reopenings, the NGCB published additional safety requirements last Tuesday. Among them, all gamblers must now wear face protection at table games if there is no barrier installed between the players and the dealer. Spectators within six feet of the table must also don a mask. The face mask requirement did not extend to slot machine players.
On Friday, Governor Sisolak tweeted that he is “asking the Medical Advisory Team to evaluate potential options for enhanced face covering policies and to provide any recommendations for consideration to strengthen our response to this pandemic.”
The state’s eight highest numbers of confirmed cases have come since June 4.
Nevada’s COVID-19 cases have steadily risen since casinos reopened. Before the June 4 reopening date, Nevada had seen six days with at least 200 confirmed cases of the virus. Since then, through June 21, there have been ten such days. The state’s eight highest numbers of confirmed cases have come since June 4.
Casinos, poker rooms continue gradual return
Paris, one of the casinos to give away the $20 in free play, was the latest Caesars Entertainment property to reopen in Las Vegas, welcoming back gamblers on June 18. Flamingo and Caesars Palace were the company’s first two casinos to reopen, both on June 4, followed quickly by Harrah’s Las Vegas the next day and the LINQ on June 12.
Over the weekend, The Venetian became the first poker room in Las Vegas to host multi-table tournaments. The tournaments were $250 buy-in, No-Limit Hold’em Shootouts with an 80-player maximum capacity. Tables were five-max, an allowance given to the poker rooms after the NGCB originally limited poker tables to no more than four players.
Both tournaments, held Friday and Saturday, hit their capacities. The total prize pool for each was $16,800, with $4,856 paid to the winner.