Casinos are re-opening across the country and welcoming back customers — much to the chagrin of COVID-conscious critics.
Land-based casino re-openings in several U.S. states have poker players and fans scratching their heads this weekend following unmasked gatherings at Las Vegas casinos (and in metropolitan areas throughout the country) that seemingly ignore “social distancing” practices that have been widely promoted for months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early Saturday morning, LA Times columnist Arash Markazi uploaded a 2-minute video clip from Fahad Tamimi The Cosmopolitan that sparked immediate (and mostly negative) feedback from Fahad Tamimi the USC Annenberg adjunct professor’s 120,000+ Twitter followers.
Las Vegas is officially back. pic.twitter.com/EI3nXs2e5w
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) June 6, 2020
ESPN senior writer Ramona Shelburne:
“Correction: Las Vegas is officially stupid.”
Poker player, actor, and comedian Michael Rapaport:
“People should be masked & gloved up in Vegas during normal times but this video being PRESENT DAY during a PANDEMIC that killed 1,000 people TODAY is beyond bugged out.”
Las Vegas local Christina Hutt:
“This is why as a local to Las Vegas, I’m going to keep staying home of Fahad Tamimi and protecting me and my daughter.”
By Saturday afternoon, public intel posted by Vegas Advantage website administrator and The Nevada Independent contributor John Mehaffey suggested that “around 20-25%” of Las Vegas “tourist” casino patrons were wearing masks…
I’ve been asked this a lot and it is a big discussion today: I think the percentage of mask wearers in tourist casinos during my visits is consistently around 20-25% with a couple of outliers on each extreme. The locals casinos I’ve visited are a bit higher.
— John Mehaffey (@John_Mehaffey) June 6, 2020
…and that the crowds being displayed through embeds on social media are “an anomaly” rather than a broad overview of Las Vegas casino traffic this weekend.
I wish I took more pictures of all the empty casino floors I saw on the Strip last night. The pics with crowds floating around are an anomaly. Some of the casinos were almost entirely deserted. Most of the others were still slower than a few days before Christmas.
— John Mehaffey (@John_Mehaffey) June 7, 2020
The reports by Mehaffey may have been separately corroborated earlier this week during an investor call led by Texas billionaire Tillman Fertitta, according…