Some Las Vegas Casinos Already Operating at 100% Capacity

| May 7, 2021 9:34 am PDT

Nearly a full month ahead of Nevada’s Governor, Steve Sisolak, prediction of when the state’s businesses would be allowed to operate at 100% capacity by June 1st, the sister resorts Wynn and Encore moved to full capacity on May 3rd.

The Cosmopolitan did the same, effective May 5th.

Most other casinos in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada are currently permitted to operate at 80% capacity, as are most restaurants and other businesses in Clark County, in which many Nevada’s casinos and residents are situated.

For most of the pandemic lockdown, Governor Sisolak gave the final word in which businesses could operate in the state and at what capacity, but in March 2021, he delegated that authority to local and county governments.

Except for the casino floors, that is. Those he handed over to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which most recently allowed it would permit casino floors to operate at 100% capacity.

It provided specific rules concerning social distancing, masking, et cetera. Oh, and 80% of the casino’s employees were vaccinated for the COVID virus.

What Casinos Must Do for 100% Capacity

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has its own seven-page PDF covering its regulation of casino floors vis a vis the threat of COVID-19.

Currently, casinos can operate at 80% capacity, but the Gaming Board says that a casino may apply for 100% capacity operation once its employee vaccination rate is at 80%.

Additionally, masks and social distancing will still be required. Although city, county, state, and national requirements on those change daily, and often conflict with one another.

Interestingly, gaming licensees (the casinos) that also operate an attached hotel have two rules to follow.

  • Confirm that it will, at a minimum, require hotel guests to complete a symptom self-assessment upon check-in.
  • Must provide a designated area within the resort where hotel guests may be tested for COVID-19, and where such hotel guests can safely wait for the test results.

But Not Just Casinos

If you are a resident of the Las Vegas basin, chances are you have been missing your favorite restaurants at least as much as you missed impromptu visits to your local casino.

Rightly so as Nevada’s restrictions on restaurants have been among the most draconian in the country.

But restaurants and other businesses — pretty much any business that is NOT the casino floor itself — is under the control of Clark County.

So, while the state’s Gaming Control Board decides the allowable operating capacity of the casino floors throughout Nevada, in Clark County, the local government has the final say about when, how, and if businesses (other than casinos) may open and at what capacity.

For example, restaurants (even buffets) and bars in Clark County are currently permitted to operate at 80% capacity for indoor dining and drinking, and there are no capacity restrictions for outdoor dining and drinking.

The capacity limit throughout the rest of Nevada for restaurants and bars
is 50%.

Clark County has even produced a handy 42-page PDF detailing the various restrictions and permissions for all manner of businesses.

Including your favorite restaurants, bars, and buffets. Currently, the County permits 80% capacity at all dining and drinking establishments within its borders — under strict mask and social-distancing requirements.

Clark County says it will permit non-casino businesses to operate at 100% capacity once 60% of eligible county residents get a vaccine shot.

J.W. Paine
J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with thoroughbred horseracing, poker, blackjack, and slots.

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