MGM and Caesars to Require All Guests to Wear Face Masks

MGM and Caesars are both doubling down in their efforts to combat Covid-19 with new rules requiring all guests and patrons to wear face masks.

MGM Resorts  (MGM) - Get Report and Caesars Entertainment  (CZR) - Get Report have both doubled down in their efforts to combat Covid-19 with new rules requiring all guests and patrons on their respective properties - and not just in Las Vegas - to wear face masks.

MGM said it will require that all guests wear face masks inside public spaces at all of its U.S. outlets effective Friday, as it moves to upgrade its coronavirus safety measures. Previously, the casino operator only required employees to wear masks.

Caesars, meanwhile, announced a similar mandate effective immediately. Both companies had previously mandated guests at its Las Vegas casinos wear masks only at table games that did not have barriers, in accordance with rules set by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The moves come as the U.S. continues to see confirmed cases of Covid-19 as well as an uptick in hospitalizations. A total of 34,700 new confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported on Wednesday, the highest level since late April, according to Johns Hopkins University.

"It is clear that the coronavirus still presents a significant public health threat, and masks have proven to be one of the best ways to curtail the spread," MGM said in a statement. "We want guests and employees to feel comfortable that we are putting their health and safety first."

“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," Caesars CEO Tony Rodio said in a separate statement.

The mask policies apply to all Caesars and MGM Resorts properties open in Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Ohio, as well as tribal properties in Arizona, California and North Carolina.

In Las Vegas, visitors were encouraged but not mandated to don face masks when casinos reopened for business on June 4. However, a more recent surge in Covid-19 cases, particularly in Nevada, prompted the policy change.

Some 14,362 Nevadans have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the most recent figures compiled by the Nevada Health Alliance. The state’s four highest single-day increases have all been recorded within the past week, according to state data.

Shares of MGM were down 3.72% at $16.30 in trading on Thursday. Shares of Caesars ended the trading day Wednesday down 0.66% at $11.97.