Those looking to gamble in Caesars Entertainment casinos in Iowa will now be required to wear a protective mask to do so.
As the United States and casinos across the country attempt to return to operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, Caesars is taking a hard line in its safety policy.
Caesars implements mandatory mask policy
On Wednesday, Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced that everyone indoors at its properties across the country will be required to wear a mask.
Masks will need to be worn at all times, except when eating or drinking. The policy became effective June 24 at 2 p.m. C.T.
“We promised that Caesars would continue to evaluate the latest recommendations, directives and medical science regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and modify our enhanced health and safety protocols accordingly,” CEO of Caesars Entertainment Tony Rodio said in a press release. “As a result, we are immediately requiring everyone in our properties to wear masks, because the scientific evidence strongly suggests that wearing masks and practicing social distancing may be the most important deterrents to spreading COVID-19 from person to person.”
The release also noted that anyone refusing to wear a mask will be directed to leave the property.
Caesars’ mask-paying policy didn’t last
A mandatory mask policy wasn’t Caesars’ first attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Last weekend, Caesars opted to pay Caesars Rewards members who wore masks on their casino floors in Nevada. Promotion teams strolled the floors of five Caesars casinos on the Strip in Las Vegas and handed members $20 to gamble with.
According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Caesars doled out $7,500 in free play to 375 guests.
The promotion is no longer happening now that masks have become mandatory.
Two Iowa Caesars properties impacted
Iowa currently contains a pair of casino properties owned by Caesars Entertainment.
Both properties are adhering to other health protocols, including reduced capacities on the gaming floor.
Other protocols include:
- Slot machine banks being arranged to allow for social distancing.
- Increased hand sanitizing stations.
- Machines and tables being disinfected regularly throughout the day.
- Limited positions available for table games, with no congregation for guests behind players.
- Chairs and tables in sportsbook viewing areas being spaced for social distancing.
Iowa sees slight uptick in COVID-19 cases
Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that Iowa casino properties were allowed to reopen on June 1 at 50% capacity.
Reynolds then removed that limitation on June 12, but noted that establishments still needed to implement measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The two Caesars properties are located in Pottawattamie County, which has had 656 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That ranks 10th in the state. Only 11 deaths have been reported from the county.
Iowa has seen a slight uptick in positive COVID-19 cases over the last 10 days. The state had a three-day run of positive cases below 150 from June 14-16.
Since then, Iowa has had six days with over 250 positive cases. That includes two days of over 400 cases.
Iowa has logged over 27,500 positive tests since testing in the state began. Over 700 people have died from the virus.
Nationally, Iowa ranks near the middle of the United States in total cases. It is currently 27th. In terms of deaths, Iowa is 28th.