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Vegas reopen must hurdle virus and protests

Vegas casinos are set to reopen this week after being closed since mid-March. However, if you’re expecting the anything-goes version of Vegas, you need to check your expectations.

While patrons will be encouraged to wear facemasks in public areas, they won’t be required to wear facemasks. After that, it gets a bit more draconian.

Temperature checks will be required for all guests checking into a hotel, says the USAToday. If for some reason you aren’t cleared to check-in, you will be required to stay at a designated quarantined hotel.

“That means guests who may have flown thousands of miles to go to their favorite Las Vegas resort,” says the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “instead will be counseled by a health professional who isn’t their doctor and possibly shuttled off to a nongaming hotel for quarantine.”

Social distancing means that the slot machine next to you will be empty, too, and casinos will be enforcing the rules against crowds.

Other rules:

  • Occupancy limits of half of each casino’s previous numbers in each gaming area
  • Three players at each blackjack table
  • Six players at each craps table
  • Four players at each roulette table
  • Four players at each poker table
  • Conventions will be limited to 250 attendees

The casinos needed to submit an action plan of how they would enforce the rules, including disinfecting dice and cards, as well as the hands of dealers and players.

However, Las Vegas’ grand reopening might be interrupted by protests related to the death of George Floyd. Protests last night saw the police using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd according to one TV station.

“About 8:30 p.m.,” reported the local Fox affiliate, “LVMPD and SWAT clashed with the group, leading to SWAT using tear gas on the crowd. Prior to the use of the gas, police had announced a dispersal order. Much of the crowd scattered and police continued to patrol up and down the Strip.”

Social media was filled with video of protestors converging on the strip and videos of looting in progress.

Police in Las Vegas have uniformly condemned the death of Lloyd, and pleaded with protestors to not resort to violence.

“We know there are people who have come here for lawlessness. Fires are not okay, throwing rocks, frozen water bottles, are not okay. We will take those people away so you can continue your peaceful protest,” Clark County Undersheriff McMahill said.

“I have yet to speak with a fellow officer that is not appalled by what happened to Mr. George Floyd,” he said.

PHOTO: Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal

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