Several Las Vegas casinos are limiting smoking as a way to keep patrons from removing the protective face masks they are required to wear.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. in mid-June updated its policy to ask that table game players and spectators do not smoke or vape.
Sands spokesman Keith Salwoski told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the change was made when the state required face coverings at table games, But he declined to offer more detail about the reason for the change at the Venetian and Palazzo resorts.
Wynn Resorts Ltd., which owns the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, has designated any table games without a Plexiglas barrier as nonsmoking areas. For table games with the barriers, gamblers are required to wear a mask unless they are smoking.
Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver said the company’s policy evolved since the casinos’ June 4 reopening.
Some groups had urged gambling regulators to ban smoking outright in casinos. Nevada regulators allowed smoking,, but their New Jersey counterparts banned it from Atlantic City casinos when they reopened.
Meanwhile, Nevada on Wednesday reported 849 new COVID-19 cases, a decline from a day earlier, when Nevada set a new daily high of 1,104 cases statewide.
Overall, nearly 30,500 people have tested positive for the virus and 618 have died.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms for up to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems can face severe illness and death. The vast majority recover.
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