LAS VEGAS >> The casino workers’ Culinary Union held a protest drive up the Las Vegas Strip this evening to call for casino companies to release their reopening plans and to adopt the union’s recommended safety protocols.
The Culinary Union had planned to have a caravan of workers drive from the union headquarters down the shuttered Las Vegas Strip to the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign” and back as a show of solidarity.
The union has called for casinos to publicly release the detailed plans they are submitting to gambling regulators laying out how they plan to safely reopen when Nevada allows it. Gov. Steve Sisolak shuttered the properties in mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The governor said he’s allowing the Nevada Gaming Control Board to have the final say on when casinos can reopen.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission, which is considered the final authority on regulations and licensing, approved rules that will require casinos to limit customers, keep gamblers spaced apart and disinfect dice, cards and all other surfaces upon reopening.
The union wants more extensive proposals, including testing staff for COVID-19 and screening people, including guests, with temperature checks upon entry. And the group has called for the regulators or elected officials to release all other casino plans and to include the union’s proposed rules as part of any reopening plan.
Several casino operators have released their plans already, including MGM Resorts this morning. MGM Resorts, which lists 13 properties in Las Vegas, has said it plans to reopen its casinos in phases, with the Bellagio and New York-New York expected to be opened first.
State health officials were reporting today that 312 people have died from the COVID-19 illness in Nevada and almost 6,300 have tested positive.