Nevada Casinos That Want To Operate At Higher Capacity Must Encourage Staff To Take Covid-19 Vaccine

April 5, 2021

By Anand Vasu

The Nevada Gaming Commission has said that casinos seeking to operate at higher than 50% capacity — which will be allowed from May 1 — need to take steps that encourage their workers to take the Covid-19 vaccine. 

This was announced in a joint statement of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission on April 2. 

The memo said operators’s requests for higher capacity limits “will only be taken in cases where licensees have taken measurable and material steps” to vaccinate their workforce.

“Hospitality workers, many of which are front-of-house personnel interacting with visitors from around the globe, are critically positioned to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 both within the industry, and the community as a whole,” the memo said. 

The memo reminded licensees that “any license or approval granted by the Commission or Board is a revocable privilege, not a right.”

It added that action would be taken against those that placed short-term gain in violation of current Emergency Directives or Board Health and Safety Standards above the well-being of its workforce.

“Both the Board and Commission urge licensees to be proactive in arranging for vaccination opportunities for their workforces, and to provide effective communication so that all employees that wish to avail themselves of such opportunities may do so,” the memo said.

The memo listed positive measures already taken by licensees and urged that these be continued. This included paid time off for staff for vaccination appointments and arranging transport to vaccination centres.

MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment, the biggest Las Vegas casino companies, are inoculating staff at on-site clinics. Cosmopolitan and Wynn Resorts are doing the same and Station Casinos will open six on-site clinics on April 6.

“We’re committed to doing all that we can to help get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible by removing barriers to access and bringing vaccination clinics directly to our employees and their families,” MGM said in a statement.

On May 1, Nevada will transition into the next phase of the Governor’s Roadmap to Recovery, when, pursuant to Emergency Declaration 041, responsibility for a number of COVID-19 mitigation measures will transfer to local governments.