Boyd Gaming Announces On-Site COVID-19 Vaccines for Nevada Casino Staff

  • Workers and their families can receive free shots starting April 21 at The Orleans in Paradise
  • The operator will reimburse full-timers with eight hours paid leave, on-call employees with four
  • Nevada casinos showing “measurable” steps to vaccinate staff could up their capacity on May 1
  • Wynn Resorts requires workers to get the shots, go for weekly tests, or face disciplinary action
  • The Cosmopolitan will pay up to $1m in cash bonuses if 80% of staff get their first dose by May 1
The Orleans Hotel & Casino facade in Las Vegas
Boyd Gaming is offering staff and members of their immediate household free vaccinations at two of its Nevada casinos, including The Orleans (pictured above). [Image:]

Clinics set up at The Orleans and Aliante

Paradise, Nevada-based Boyd Gaming is the latest casino operator in the state to adopt a policy of on-site COVID-19 staff vaccinations. The move follows a conditional Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) requirement for potential increased capacity starting May 1.

In a Friday letter to employees, Boyd Gaming announced it would start rolling out free vaccinations to Las Vegas area staff and “members of their immediate household” at The Orleans Hotel & Casino between April 21 and April 26. The company will open a second on-site shots clinic at the Aliante Casino Hotel Spa on April 28 through May 2. Vaccination centers at the respective Boyd Gaming properties in Paradise and North Las Vegas will both be in operation daily from 8:00am to 6:00pm.

“strongly” urged employees to get vaccinated “as soon as possible”

Boyd Gaming’s senior vice president of operations, Steve Schutte, “strongly” urged employees to get vaccinated “as soon as possible”.

Staff get paid time off for rolling up their sleeves

As a sweetener for Boyd employees taking the needle, the casino operator will reimburse full-time staff with eight hours paid time off. On-call employees will receive four hours paid leave. The incentives apply to all those getting vaccinated on or off the indicated premises.

The urge for Boyd staff and other Nevada casino workers to roll up their sleeves isn’t merely an altruistic gesture by the state’s big gambling players. With the NGCB publishing a regulatory notice on April 3 saying casinos showing “measurable and material steps to vaccinate” staff could get the green light to increase their capacity cap starting May 1, the financial implications are clear.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the NGCB dons the mantle of authority “to set occupancy limits for gaming floors” on May 1. The date, which falls on International Workers Day, is when the next stage in Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s Roadmap to Recovery comes into effect.

Over recent weeks, casino operators in Nevada have encouraged, incentivized, and even warned their workers to get vaccinated.

We all want life to return to normal, but the next step is up to you”

Boyd Gaming’s approach is direct but also inclusive, with Schutte telling staff: “We all want life to return to normal, but the next step is up to you”.

A game of tones among Nevada operators

While most casino operators are issuing similar vaccination calls-to-action, Wynn Resorts has taken a more hard-line approach. The company informed workers at its properties in Las Vegas that, starting April 25, they can either opt to get vaccinated or go for weekly tests. Those who choose to do neither will face disciplinary action.

In a similar tone to Boyd Gaming, the Enterprise, Nevada gaming company Golden Entertainment began offering its staff and families shots on April 12, throwing in several sweeteners. These included $25 gift cards, swag bags, discount coupons, and even the chance to win a stay at one of its properties.

“committed to paying up to $1 million in cash bonuses”

Other Nevada casino operators offering vaccinations to staff and their families include Caesars Entertainment, Red Rock Resorts, MGM Resorts International, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. According to TV station KTNV Las Vegas, the Cosmopolitan has “committed to paying up to $1 million in cash bonuses if 80% of its workforce receives their first dose by May 1.”

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