comscore 3 Vegas casinos fully opening after 80% worker vaccinations | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

3 Vegas casinos fully opening after 80% worker vaccinations

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                People wore face masks, in July 2020, as a precaution against the coronavirus as they played roulette on the Fourth of July at the Strat hotel-casino in Las Vegas. Some Las Vegas Strip casinos have been allowed to open at 100% capacity, officials said today, after showing Nevada state regulators that at least 80% of their employees have received at least one shot of coronavirus vaccine.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    People wore face masks, in July 2020, as a precaution against the coronavirus as they played roulette on the Fourth of July at the Strat hotel-casino in Las Vegas. Some Las Vegas Strip casinos have been allowed to open at 100% capacity, officials said today, after showing Nevada state regulators that at least 80% of their employees have received at least one shot of coronavirus vaccine.

LAS VEGAS >> Some Las Vegas Strip casinos have been allowed to open at 100% capacity, officials said today, after showing Nevada state regulators that at least 80% of their employees have received at least one shot of coronavirus vaccine.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas representatives said they gained approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board over the weekend to lift occupancy and physical distancing requirements and remove clear plastic separators from gambling tables.

“Employees and guests will continue to follow health and safety guidelines, including mask compliance, to ensure a safe and comfortable environment,” a Wynn Resorts statement said.

The board, which regulates casinos, set an 80% vaccination goal — while Clark County lawmakers with jurisdiction over Las Vegas-area restaurants, stores and other businesses approved plans to allow 100% occupancy once 60% of eligible county residents get a vaccine shot.

State health officials today reported the Clark County first-dose public vaccination figure at almost 45.5%, with more than one in three people fully vaccinated.

At the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore resorts, company spokesman Michael Weaver said the first- or single-dose employee vaccination rate reached 88%.

The Cosmopolitan said 80% of its more than 4,000 employees received at least a first dose of vaccine.

The company offered workers $1 million worth of bonuses to get shots, and reported a big jump in vaccinations in the past two weeks. It said the offer would continue until Saturday.

“We believe the only clear path to normalcy and bringing our entire workforce back is through vaccinations,” William McBeath, Cosmopolitan president and CEO said in a news release.

The tourism and hospitality industry needs to demonstrate safety for visitors and guests, he said.

The Gaming Control Board typically does not release information about regulatory contact with licensees. Spokesman Michael Lawton declined today to say if other properties had been approved for 100% occupancy.

Officials contacted at Caesars Entertainment Inc., MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands, Boyd Gaming and Station Casinos did not provide similar announcements about capacity increases.

Several of those companies have opened employee vaccination clinics and encouraged workers and their families to get shots.

In the Cosmopolitan statement, Gaming Control Board Chairman J. Brin Gibson praised the company for “smart and swift action” and said regulators asked it “to share their methodology, strategy and success with the wider hospitality industry.”

Capacity limits were enacted when casinos reopened last June after being shuttered for nearly 12 weeks. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed emergency directives aimed at preventing people from gathering and spreading COVID-19.

Restrictions have been relaxed in phases as vaccinations have ramped up.

Last Saturday, all casinos and most businesses in Clark County, including the Las Vegas Strip resort corridor, were allowed to raise capacity from 50% to 80% and reduce person-to-person distancing to 3 feet (0.9 meters). Masks are still required indoors and for people in large crowds outdoors.

The governor, a Democrat, has set a June 1 target for lifting almost all coronavirus mitigation restrictions statewide. He has said mask mandates will remain in place indefinitely.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (20)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up