Belligerent behavior could delay poker room openings in Nevada

Posted on: July 07, 2020 12:24 PDT

Poker players might have to wait a little longer to achieve some sense of normalcy in Nevada-area poker rooms. With some gamblers refusing to comply with face covering requirements, casinos around the state are likely to put poker room openings on the backburner as they focus all efforts on mask compliance.

The latest incident to have poker operators shaking their collective heads comes out of the Hard Rock Casino, in which a 32-year-old man refused to wear his mask while seated at a bar on Fourth of July weekend.

When approached by security and advised to don a mask, the man refused. He was immediately charged with trespassing.

According to documents filed in court, the man told deputies, “he did not care about the face masks and was not wearing one.” He became argumentative and was taken into custody.

The offender appeared before Tahoe Township Justice of the Peace Richard Glasson and was ordered to comply with mask-wearing requirements set forth by the state of Nevada and the state of California.

The latest incident comes a mere days after Nevada’s Culinary Union sued several Las Vegas casino operators for failing to keep casino workers safe on the casino floor and beyond. They allege that casinos have not properly required customers to wear masks even though they require them for workers.

The lawsuit alleges that despite “overwhelming evidence of the importance of mandating facial coverings by guests in public areas of casinos and hotels ... defendants, along with other casinos and hotels in southern Nevada, only ‘encouraged’ guests to wear face masks.”

While poker players want to get back to the tables, particularly in nine-handed games, it might prove difficult to get to a phase that allows for poker room expansion if patrons refuse to comply and COVID-19 numbers spike.