COVID-19 has ravished the land-based casino world, with casinos lobbying the Nevada lawmakers to reopen establishments.
However, the Las Vegas Culinary Union has said that more than 350 workers and family members have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since casinos reopened.
That’s an alarming 800% increase between the current rate and pre-casinos opening once more.
Not Enough Done for Key Workers
The Union is demanding that more is done for staff members that are vital to the smooth operation of casinos and hotels in the state.
These key casino workers are not being given proper PPE in order to protect themselves and their family members, giving them no choice but to work without PPE.
As it stands, just over 20 workers and family members from the Union have died from COVID-19 since casinos were reopened.
In a plea to Governor Sisolak, the Union said:
“Governor [Steve] Sisolak, the Nevada Legislature, and casino companies must do everything they can to ensure workers and their families are protected from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. When workers are protected, our entire community – from the hospitality industry to customers and locals are protected.”
Will Casinos Close Down Again?
With the infection rate of employees going through the roof, there could be a scenario where casinos in Las Vegas are forced to shut their doors once more.
As more and more employees are sidelined with COVID-19, casinos could quickly find themselves short staffed and cutting back on precautionary measures simply due to lack of resources.
If this is the case, casinos could fall foul of breaking the tight regulations in place that have allowed them to open once more.
While in Las Vegas this will only resort in a temporary closure, elsewhere in the country it will lead to the permanent revocation of licenses.
Employee safety has to be taken seriously, and employees need to be put first. If casinos fail to do this, we could begin to see mass strikes across Las Vegas.
A Court Case Incoming
In fact, in June, just a few weeks after casinos in Las Vegas reopened, the Culinary Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of members of the Union.
A valet worker, who is part of the Culinary Union, said that after only four days of working he contracted COVID-19.
In a conference call, the worker said:
“I worked three shifts completely short-staffed, no social distancing between guests, guests weren’t wearing any masks”
Elsewhere, a worker at Guy Fieri’s restaurant at Harrah’s also tested positive for COVID-19.
However, other staff members were not notified and the restaurant was not shut down immediately for a deep clean, putting other employees and guests at risk.
The court case argues that establishments in Las Vegas aren’t doing enough to protect workers or guests.
If the case makes it to court and the court decides that lives are being endangered, we could see revocation of licenses as we’ve seen elsewhere in the US.
This is make or break for some of the biggest names in Las Vegas, but sadly, money talks in Sin City.
Many people are expecting the big establishments to buy their way out of any trouble they face.
If you’re heading to Las Vegas, perhaps it’s best you think twice and opt for an online experience – to be on the safe side!