Coronavirus cases have skyrocketed over the past few weeks in America. This has affected millions of people, as well as multiple businesses across the country. Despite the increase of infections and deaths, many casinos have been careless in dealing with the dangers that they can bring and complying with the coronavirus mandates.
Like bowling alleys or churches, casinos are enclosed indoor spaces where large groups of people assemble. That presents a higher risk of exposure to the virus, especially if people are not cautious of wearing masks or disinfecting the area. Many people touch the same objects and surfaces like playing cards, chips, and machines, which potentially increases the risk of getting infected.
Las Vegas Casinos
Numerous businesses, including casinos in Clark Country, Nevada, received warnings for not complying with the governor’s requirements related to the coronavirus. The Silverton Casino Hotel and Aria Resort & Casino received penalties for lack of social distancing, and customers observed not wearing a mask.
It has been reported that many Las Vegas casino workers were ill due to the coronavirus. Many operators did not reveal how many employees were diagnosed with the disease as they are not required to disclose the number of infections.
Over 60,000 casino workers have filed a lawsuit against casinos for disregarding safety measures and putting their lives at risk. It was discovered that the owners did not inform employees when co-workers tested positive and allowed colleagues of infected employees to return to their jobs.
Some casinos revealed that they provided customers with free masks, and some even paid them to wear it. However, most of them did not comply and did not insist on wearing one. Hence, they included more physical barriers like contactless check-ins and tested the staff frequently.
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Casinos with Strict Regulations
Not all casinos were careless with the coronavirus pandemic. Encore Boston Harbor resort casino reopened its doors on July 12 after being closed for four months. The resort reconfigured the casino floor to accommodate social distancing, with some machines turned off.
Wearing face masks is mandatory for all staff and customers, and they are providing complimentary masks. Hundreds of sanitizers and disinfecting wipe stations have been placed around the casino, as well.
Sobabo Casino Resort also announced that they would be removing some seating, and closing restaurants and the golf resort to increase social distancing. San Manuel Casino in Highland, California also prohibited smoking indoors and limited customers from drinking while playing slot machines or at any table games.
Unemployment Due to the Coronavirus
Thousands of casino workers have lost their job due to coronavirus. In early April, when most casinos were forced to close down, more than half a million casino workers lost their jobs, which is 96% of the entire US gaming industry workforce. Although many casinos reopened and some have been able to get their jobs back, many workers will still be unable to work.
Treasure Island Casino had to lay off 414 staff members, and Mississippi gulf coast casinos let go of 1,129 employees. In Louisiana, 3,000 casino employees were laid off, and thousands more lost their jobs in other states.
Tribal Casinos were heavily impacted, as well, this year with huge revenue losses as a result of the coronavirus. The National Indian Gaming Association reported that they would lose $22.4 billion this year.
Some of the casinos reopened in May and June, while most of them are yet to open. Many employees were temporarily laid off, but the tribal casinos have now moved to permanently lay off many workers to avoid the cost of having to pay their health insurance.