Featured in this article:
- Higher vaccination rates are leading more casinos to open
- How has the Vegas landscape changed since the Covid-19 pandemic began?
Three Last Vegas casinos can operate at 100 percent capacity after proving to Nevada state regulators that at least 80 percent of their staff have received a coronavirus vaccine.
Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Casino were the first to be granted maximum floor space under new regulations set out by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, while The Cosmopolitan swiftly followed.
“We believe the only clear path to normalcy and bringing our entire workforce back is through vaccinations,” William McBeath, Cosmopolitan president, and CEO said.
Vegas casinos have been operating at reduced capacity for months in an order to comply with COVID-19 safety measures that include social distancing and testing of staff.
The majority of licensed venues in the state have been operating at 50 percent capacity but the NGCB issued a statement in April outlining how casinos who take “measurable and material steps to vaccinate, and thereby, protect their workforce, visitors, and the community” can increase their floor space.
That capacity has since increased to 80 percent for most businesses in Clark County.
Both Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas quickly began their vaccination drive, with the latter offering staff bonus payments for hitting percentage milestones. The Cosmopolitan has been praised for its “smart and swift action” in offering a shared $1m bonus to employees if they are all vaccinated.
Vegas Casinos to Reach the Target Set by Nevada Authorities
- Wynn Las Vegas: 88% vaccination rate
- Encore: 88% vaccination rate
- The Cosmopolitan: 80% vaccination rate
Nevada’s vaccination drive is considered integral to getting the US gambling capital back to normal. Tourist numbers crashed in mid-2020 as the coronavirus spread across America, but now roughly a third of adults in Clark County have been fully vaccinated from the disease.
How Las Vegas Casino Landscape Has Changed
Of course, while players and casino owners alike would prefer Vegas to get back to normalcy fast, the casino COVID-19 rules in place have left a visible mark on the city.
For a start, face masks are still required for players in any casino in Vegas, as well as other establishments. Masks help reduce the spread of the disease and are considered an important measure to fighting COVID-19.
For that reason too, Nevada’s authorities are to maintain social distancing measures into the summer – although that has been reduced to three feet (0.9 meters).
“Our employees and guests will continue to follow health and safety guidelines, including mask compliance, to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all,” a Wynn Resorts spokesperson said in a statement.
Las Vegas COVID-19 figures published Tuesday revealed there have been 316,715 cases in the state since the start of the pandemic and 5,480 deaths. The average for new cases and deaths began climbing again in April, but there is hope the increased immunity of the population will soon help bring those figures down.