After last week setting a target reopening date for the state’s gaming industry, in a statement Tuesday evening, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said Phase 2 of his “Roadmap to Recovery” plan will begin on Friday, May 29, paving the way for the Las Vegas Strip and other statewide gaming operations to reopen on June 4.

The statement read…

“Nevadans have done an incredible job helping to flatten the curve and I want to again thank you for understanding the severity of this health care crisis and for taking the necessary precautionary measures, like making a face covering a part of everyday wear.  Our collective actions have helped bring us to where we are today, ready to begin Phase 2 of reopening,” according to local news agencies.

Tentative reopening:

In his pre-Memorial Day announcement, the first-term Democrat said that as long as there wasn’t a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases over the holiday weekend he might allow Nevada’s casinos to reopen on June 4 after first talking to health officials and the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Downward trend:

Yesterday, Sisolak said that based on his meeting and positive data trends in the Silver State, including a 31-day “consistent and sustainable” downward trend in positive cases of COVID-19 and coronavirus-related hospitalizations, he let the chair of the Gaming Control Board know that he feels “confident” in the June 4th target date.

Responsible for overseeing the casino industry, the Gaming Control Board has established health and safety guidelines to protect employees and casino customers.

Comprehensive plan:

At the conclusion of an informational workshop held by the board on Tuesday morning, Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan said that on Wednesday the agency would release an industry notice with additional rules and compliance requirements.

During the meeting, the board received testimony from the state’s COVID-19 Response Director, along with public health experts and leaders of emergency response departments regarding their work with the gaming industry to see that a comprehensive plan is established to respond to the effects of positive cases of COVID-19 “in the state’s corridors.”

Governor Sisolak said during the press call, that via the board, agents and personal would be in place to ensure the guidelines are being followed by casinos and that customers are adhering to social distancing protocols.

Health and safety priority:

In his May 26 post presser release, Sisolak said…

“It is critical to put the health and safety of employees, residents and visitors first through proactive measures, coupled with the Health and Safety Policies issued by the Gaming Control Board. This is what will help ensure that Nevada can safely reopen its gaming industry on June 4. I know the Gaming Control Board remains resolute in ensuring that gaming operations in this State do not compromise the health and safety of Nevadans, our employees, and our visitors.”

The governor also reportedly said that Nevada’s travel advisory requiring visitors to the state to self-quarantine for 14 days, will be updated before next week.

In addition to casinos, businesses such as bars, convenience stores, taverns, and restaurants that have no more than 15 slot machines, will also be allowed to commence gaming operations next Thursday.

Record unemployment:

Resorts in Las Vegas have been shuttered since March 17 when Governor Sisolak ordered the state’s nonessential businesses, including casinos, bars and restaurants, to close for 30 days in an effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The closures have resulted in the state currently claiming the highest unemployment in the country, at 28.2 percent, according to finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), as reported by KTNV Las Vegas.

For weeks, the governor has been under pressure to reopen an industry that produced $12 billion in gaming revenues in 2019.