Vegas Casinos to Test Staff for COVID-19 Ahead of Reopening

  • MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Boyd Gaming made announcement in joint statement
  • Tests to take place at Las Vegas Convention Center starting Thursday, May 21
  • MGM commits to monitoring staff for possible signs of COVID-19 on a daily basis
  • Free testing available for MGM and Boyd staff, Caesars to conduct pre-screening questionnaire
aerial view of the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas
Three major Las Vegas casino operators will begin staff coronavirus testing on May 21 ahead of reopening. [Image: Shutterstock.com] 

Major operators get ready to reopen

MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Boyd Gaming will begin testing their Las Vegas staff for coronavirus on Thursday, ahead of their return to work. According to a joint statement, the three major casino companies are partnering with the University Medical Center to administer tests at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

results available within 48 hours

Returning staff are to schedule a testing appointment, with results available within 48 hours, the statement said. Positive tests will be sent to staff and the Southern Nevada Health District, which will manage contact tracing.  

“The ability to safely reopen our properties has been our singular focus over the past several weeks,” MGM acting CEO and president Bill Hornbuckle said, following announcements by MGM and Boyd that they will be reopening casinos in other states as early as next week.

Following the closure order of casino facilities across Nevada on March 17 due to COVID-19, workers will be going back to their Las Vegas casino jobs for the first time in over two months.

Daily monitoring of MGM, Boyd employees

Free COVID-19 tests are currently voluntary for furloughed MGM employees. They will now be offered to those who are called back to work at their respective properties.

MGM Resorts, which is reopening ahead of its anticipated schedule, will begin with the Bellagio and New York-New York premises. Staff will also be monitored daily for possible signs of COVID-19, whether or not they passed the initial coronavirus test, the company said.

Boyd meanwhile is mandating free testing for its Nevada staff. Whether or not the test is compulsory could depend on where someone works. However, spokesman David Strow said there are other testing resources available, including a drive-thru site that the company is hosting at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Caesars staff to be pre-screened

In the joint statement, Caesars CEO Tony Rodio announced that all company staff would complete a pre-screening questionnaire. He added that “the results would determine the need for a COVID-19 test before returning to work.”

up to 4,000 samples a day for testing

The COVID-19 employee testing plan will see the University Medical Center and the Las Vegas Culinary Health Fund collect up to 4,000 samples a day from staff across all three operators. Information on testing and scheduling appointments will be provided by the employers as well as the Culinary Union, which represents casino workers in Nevada.