Las Vegas taverns get slot relief

There’s some relief on the way for Las Vegas tavern owners, who’ll be getting a portion of their inactive slot machines turned back on. The Clark County Commission approved a resolution that will give taverns the right to temporarily add seven upright slot machines to replace shuttered bar top games.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak took a hyper-local approach to the COVID-19 situation, with small business taking a beating over the course of the pandemic. The Nevada governor ordered the closure of standalone bars and bar top areas to reduce crowd sizes at venues and encourage social distancing. Many restricted gaming locations rely on the revenue of bar top slots.

While giving the green light to provide some relief to tavern owners, Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones was unsure if this would be temporary. “In a judicious period of time, we will come back with a motion to suspend this resolution”

Restricted gaming in Nevada has proven to be a major revenue winner for small to medium business, with video poker slots accounting for 805 of the revenue for some taverns. There are more than 13,200 gaming machines across Clark County.

In the tough economic times, Clark County officials have heeded the call from local business for some relief. “This helps them get through a tough time,” commented Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick.

A casino industry trade group, The Nevada Resort Association, voiced for their support for the resolution on the condition it was temporary. “We’re not here to oppose granting a temporary waiver, but it should be temporary and not permanent,” according to Resort Association President Virginia Valentine.

Local tavern owners have been proactively installing upright slots since the July 10 directive issued by the Nevada governor. The majority of taverns and restricted gaming spaces have been installing temporary upright slot machines to replace bar top games. Moving forward there have been calls from local business to provide some long-term solutions should the COVID-19 pandemic continue to cripple Nevada small business.