Friday, April 24, 2020 / by Ken Couture
The state Gaming Control Board has issued a six-page, 18-point policy memorandum on procedures for reopening casinos after their temporary closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The policy, posted late Tuesday on the Control Board’s website, describes a streamlined process that will enable companies to reinstate the registration of casino employees laid off or furloughed during the pandemic.
The memo also provides for companies to offer phased openings of different parts of resorts. Company executives have indicated they aren’t expecting all areas in casinos to open at the same time.
The memorandum, authored by board member Terry Johnson, lists no opening dates, instead referencing when “the governor authorizes reopening of gaming operations” as the restarting date.
Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday said decisions on opening dates for nonessential businesses would be based on the state meeting critical public health benchmarks, including a sustained decline in COVID-19 infections.
“A safe, thoughtful and efficient resumption of gaming operations in this state will help both Nevada and its residents recover from this pandemic,” Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Morgan said in a release announcing the issuance of the memorandum.
One section of the memo says properties will be able to register laid-off employees within a day.
Most of the other points in the memo relate to requirements for cash-on-hand bankroll requirements at the time of reopening and new deadlines for tax payments.
Each property has a formula indicating how much cash it must have when opening in order to pay large jackpots or the winners of sports bets who haven’t cashed their tickets. Under the board’s guidelines, cash-on-hand requirements will be waived for seven days after the governor authorizes reopening.
Remaining items addressed deadlines for reporting financial and tax information required of licensed operators. The memo said the plan must be submitted at least seven days before reopening occurs “or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.” It must include the date and time properties intend to open.
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