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The White House says no response is planned to reported Russian bounties on U.S. troops; House Democrats unveil an ambitious plan to curb climate change.

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Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma all finished up their elections today, and Medicaid expansion in OK appears to have passed. And, a Supreme Court ruling could open the door for more public money to religious institutions.

Nevada Casinos Bet on Social Distancing to Reopen

Las Vegas casinos can open next week, but Nevada Gaming Control Board guidelines will limit capacity to 50% and require new cleaning and social-distancing policies. (Linda72/Pixabay)
Las Vegas casinos can open next week, but Nevada Gaming Control Board guidelines will limit capacity to 50% and require new cleaning and social-distancing policies. (Linda72/Pixabay)
May 29, 2020

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Hospitality and gaming is the dominant industry in Las Vegas, but the frenzied environment tourists have come to expect will be altered when casinos reopen next week.

There will be fewer people at the casinos and not as many things to do, with nightclubs still closed and reservation-only dining.

Brian Labus is an assistant professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a member of the medical advisory team advising Nevada's governor. He notes that all casinos will have detailed plans for how to protect people from the spread of COVID-19.

"The challenge is that we've never done any of these things before," says Labus. "We haven't had this type of change in our practices. So, we don't know what's going to work or what's not going to work."

The governor has set the reopening of Las Vegas casinos for Thursday, June 4. Hotels can also reopen, but unknowns about how many tourists will visit means not all plan to open their doors.

One new protocol requires that all hotels comply with procedural cleaning standards initiated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Labus says when the casinos closed, a huge part of Nevada's economic engine stopped - creating ripple effects, including stress and other mental health challenges, for some individuals. He says introverts might have fared OK, but for more social people - those who typically frequent casinos - it's been a difficult time.

"I would compare it to, in the '80s, when we had steel mill towns in the Rust Belt that had one steel mill and that's where everybody worked," says Labus. "And the mill closed down and everybody lost their jobs. It's the same sort of thing here."

Earlier this year, more than three million visitors a month were flocking to Las Vegas. As result of the pandemic, some economists expect the city to be one of the hardest-hit metro areas in the West.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - NV