- Wynn Resorts’ Las Vegas properties can operate at 100% capacity beginning on Monday, May 10.
- The Nevada Gaming Control Board approved the company’s request to amend occupancy due to its 88% vaccination rate among employees.
- All Clark County casinos had occupancy levels raised to 80% effective May 1.
Another ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for Southern Nevada’s gaming and tourism industries–effective Monday, May 10 the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas can operate their casino floors at 100% capacity. The Nevada Gaming Control Board has approved a request by Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN) to amend the state mandated occupancy and physical distancing requirement due primarily to an 88% vaccination rate among employees. All Clark County casinos had their occupancy levels increased to 80% on Saturday, May 1 as mandated by the Nevada COVID-19 mitigation roadmap.
In a Las Vegas Review-Journal article reporting on the increased capacity at Wynn Resorts’ properties gaming analyst Brendan Bussman of Global Market Advisors said that this speaks volumes about the gaming industry’s commitment to getting the city of Las Vegas back to some sense of normalcy:
“This shows the (gaming) industry’s commitment across the board not only to meet, but exceed the goals set by the Gaming Control Board to get our destination back. Having all of the amenities to make Vegas, Vegas is key and critical to that effort.”
In addition to the 100% occupancy level, the two Wynn Resorts properties on the Las Vegas Strip will be allowed to remove their plexiglass dividers from slot machines and table games. But don’t throw away your facemask just yet–Wynn will maintain health and safety guidelines including mask requirement:
“Our employees and guests will continue to follow health and safety guidelines, including mask compliance, to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all”
Wynn has been extremely proactive in efforts to get employees vaccinated and it clearly has paid off. There has been an ongoing informational campaign to encourage worker vaccinations. Workers that didn’t get vaccinated were required to be tested weekly at an on-site lab. Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox told employees:
“(The testing) shouldn’t be overly burdensome but that is going to be a requirement because we want to be the safest place in North America for people to come on vacation.”
The company has had an eye toward the occupancy limits all along as evidenced by another quote from CEO Maddox:
“In order for the restrictions to continue to be lifted, we need to continue to see increases in vaccination of our staff. I encourage each and every one of you who have not (gotten the vaccine) to think about it seriously, because it is easy, and it is on site, and it will help us come back quicker.”
While the company didn’t require vaccinations the fact that the CEO is ‘strongly suggesting’ them makes the point abundantly clear. Even the Culinary Union–often a foil to casino management–has strongly emphasized the importance of vaccination. Bethany Khan, spokeswoman for Culinary Workers Union Local 226, said that the union ‘strongly encourages’ vaccination:
“The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and offered at no-cost to workers. Getting vaccinated is a critical step to completely reopening Las Vegas, getting workers back to work, protecting our families, and helping our union stay strong.”
Hopefully the increased occupancy levels at Wynn will serve as a motivation to get other casino companies to improve their vaccination efforts.
At the time of publication, James Murphy has a long position in WYNN.