Wynn Resorts Issues COVID-19 Vaccination or Test Ultimatum to Las Vegas Workers

  • Sin City staff must either get vaccinated or report for weekly tests to avoid disciplinary action
  • Around 4,000 Wynn employees - 60% of returning workers - got the COVID-19 vaccine to date
  • The policy jibes with the NGCB’s notice of conditional capacity increases for compliant casinos
  • Caesars also upped its vaccination drive this week by offering free shots to employees’ families
Wynn Resorts Las Vegas facade
Wynn Resorts issued a new COVID-19 policy requiring Las Vegas staff to get vaccinated or go for weekly tests to avoid facing disciplinary action. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

New policy effective April 25

Workers at Wynn Resorts Ltd properties in Las Vegas have been told to choose between getting vaccinated or taking weekly COVID-19 tests. Company spokesperson Michael Weaver said yesterday that employees refusing to comply with either option will risk workplace discipline.

Wynn CEO Matthew Maddox told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on an April 8 episode of Mad Money that he was mandating staff to be “Covid free”. The show shared Maddox’s comment via Twitter last night:

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Maddox encouraged staff via video to get inoculated in order to help operations return to a “much more normal environment.” Workers opting out of vaccinations will need to report weekly for COVID-19 tests at an on-site lab, which takes one day to issue results.

KSNV NBC Las Vegas said Wynn Resorts expected its University Medical Center-operated clinic at Encore Las Vegas to “administer its 50,000th vaccine Thursday.” Around 4,000 Wynn employees – close to 60% of returning workers – have been vaccinated to date.

Wynn’s new vaccination and testing policy is effective April 25.

Mandate jibes with capacity increase conditions

In a statement, Maddox commented that vaccination rates across the US are on the increase. He said of the new company requirement:

[It] will make Wynn one of the safest vacation destinations in the U.S.”

Wynn’s vaccination or tests ultimatum comes hot on the heels of a Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) regulatory notice, which the body shared last week via Twitter:

The NGCB said that casinos showing “measurable and material steps to vaccinate” staff would be under consideration for expanded capacity limits starting May 1. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s Roadmap to Recovery moves to its next stage on the same day.

Sisolak issued an emergency directive that, starting March 15, the capacity for large gatherings in Nevada could increase to 50%. The announcement was the cue for thousands to flock to the Las Vegas Strip ahead of the start of March Madness.

Maddox told staff in his video message that more vaccinations were necessary “in order for the restrictions to continue to be lifted.”

Nevada casino operators of one accord

With vaccinating staff, all of Nevada’s big casino operators are singing from the same hymn sheet.

MGM Resorts International started vaccinating its Vegas Strip employees on March 30. Station Casinos began offering vaccine doses to its workers across Nevada on April 6. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Las Vegas Sands have also opened fully operational vaccination sites.

On Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment announced it would offer free inoculations to family members of employees, besides opening more vaccination sites.

In related news, MGM Resorts issued a press release on April 7 stating it was “adding cutting-edge enhancements” to its Convene with Confidence health and safety plan. The enhancements are designed to attract larger groups of corporates back to Vegas for meetings through advances such as “on-site rapid, molecular COVID-19 testing.”

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