Face masks became mandatory at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel and Casino at noon Wednesday, according to an email sent to Caesar’s Rewards members.

The universal mask policy took effect for all people indoors – guests, employees and passersby, included – at the Harrah’s property in Maricopa and all other hotels and casinos across the Caesar’s network, Caesars Entertainment announced.

Masks are required at all times, unless eating or drinking. If guests do not have a mask, the hotel/casino will provide one.

The company said it will take steps to ensure that everyone wears a mask. Anyone who refuses to wear a mask, after being asked, will be directed to leave the property, Caesars said.

Next door, the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin will require face masks for everyone over the age of 5 and not seated in a dining area, effective 11 a.m. Friday. Employees have been wearing masks for weeks.

The Caesars policy extends a requirement for face masks already in place for guests and employees participating in table games.

“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,” said Tony Rodio, Caesars CEO. “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 hotel/casino operator had previously instituted enhanced health and safety protocols, including more frequent cleaning and sanitization. It also implemented a health screening program for all employees.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin has announced that bingo will resume on Tuesday, June 30, as a smoke-free zone.