Nevada Governor Punishes Casino for Hosting Church’s Worship Service

State   Liberty Counsel   Aug 12, 2020   |   6:35PM    Carson City, Nevada

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak fined the Las Vegas Ahern Hotel for hosting a worship service for an “Evangelicals for Trump” group inside a casino ballroom because it violated his unconstitutional 50-person gathering limit on houses of worship.

Governor Sisolak publicly lashed out at the peaceful Christian gathering and punished the casino with a $250 fine. The governor tweeted: “I was deeply disheartened and dismayed to see the callous and dangerous behavior displayed last night in Las Vegas at a campaign event for President Trump. I am equally dismayed that the campaign and business defied the State of Nevada emergency directive which limits public gatherings to 50 people or fewer.”

The worship service was said to be in violation of Gov. Sisolak’s Directive 021, Section 10, which reads: “The Nevada general public shall not gather in groups of more than fifty in any indoor or outdoor area subject to the limitations of this section, whether publicly owned or privately owned where the public has access by right or invitation, express or implied, whether by payment of money or not.”

However, the governor’s orders allow people to gather indoors “in groups of more than fifty” if they are gathered at a casino and the casino is not operating at more than 50 percent capacity. This means that casinos can grant access to hundreds of patrons at a time. Yet the governor’s unconstitutional orders have limited in-person church attendance to 50 people, despite the capacity of the building, as a part of the state’s Coronavirus restrictions.

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Governor Sisolak has extended the Phase 2 restrictions “due to the trends in COVID-19 infection rates, the time needed for expanded contact tracing to identify trends, and to see the impacts of the Governor’s new face covering directive.” He added that he would “not hesitate to take any action necessary to protect the public and prevent exceeding our hospital capacity, including reinstituting previous restrictions.”

Inexplicably, the governor signed an order banning the use of the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Governor Steve Sisolak fined the casino for allowing a worship service inside a ballroom, but there are no fines for any other gatherings in casinos if solely for gambling and entertainment. His orders are blatantly unconstitutional.  It is clear that Governor Sisolak is intentionally discriminating against worship and people of faith.”