Nevada keeps bar slots closed, but casinos needed for the economy

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a problem for Nevada, and Governor Steve Sisolak has decided that a change in strategy may be necessary. Following an August 3 press conference, the state will take a hyper-local approach to closing businesses, and small venues like bars appear like they will take the brunt of it.

The aim of the strategy is to allow areas where infections are not spiking to not get jerked around by the areas that are. Instead of the whole state shutting down again, only the areas with problems will.

That being said, bars, and bar top areas in in Las Vegas and Reno will stay closed. That’s going to have a large financial impact for restaurants that have had bar top slots installed.

This new strategy is a bit of a reset, Sisolak noted, and “current restrictions for bars, pubs, and taverns will remain in place” until a first assessment under the new strategy can happen. Slot machines in grocery stores, convenience stores and drug stores will still be permitted.

“I want to be clear, in no way are we relaxing our mitigation efforts,” Sisolak said. “We are taking a more strategic, aggressive approach that will target this disease where it is spreading and take action to stop it.”

Despite reservations by Sisolak’s health officials, casinos will be permitted to continue operating. “Shutting down public and economic activity around the state is not sustainable in the long-term,” the governor said. “The good news is by switching to a strategic targeted approach we can protect the health and safety of Nevadans while keeping our economy open.”

Restaurant slots, which fall under the code of ‘restricted’ gaming licenses, were ordered to close in mid-July as Nevada continues to try and keep a handle on this pandemic. But with the state still seeing as many as 1,100 new cases on August 2, with the majority in Clark County, the battle is far from over.