California Casino Employees Worried About Safety Protocols

California is one state in which casinos are starting to reopen. Venues are back to work, running based on modifications made regarding Covid-19. Employees of establishments in San Diego County recently voiced their opinions on how unsafe they feel in the work environment. Some casinos have already been open a month with protocols in place, like temperature checks and mask-wearing. However, cases of the virus are occurring, and employees feel casinos are not doing their part to ensure guest compliance to protocols.

Employee Concerns

Just last week, the San Diego County Public Health Department announced they were investigating cases of the virus that might be connected to local casinos. UNITE Here Local 30 is a local hotel and hospitality workers’ union who is dealing with employee concerns. President of the Local 30, Bridgette Browning says that it is not the protocols that are the problem, but people following them that are.

Browning stated that she visited the Jamul and Sycuan casinos and there were guests on site who had their masks around their neck, gathering in large numbers. She did not see anyone trying to get them to put their masks on. Employees who remain anonymous say that guests are not following the protocols.

According to Browning, the enforcement of protocols like mask-wearing, is falling on to the workers, who really do not know how to act or what to do. They are uncomfortable with the idea of telling patrons what to do in trying to enforce the rules.

Employees are uncomfortable as guests are not wearing masks and then they are interacting with them. Some guests may be complaining or speaking loudly without their mask on. They feel they are more at risk when customers are speaking to them with their masks off.

Employees want the casinos to be strict about the regulations and enforce them among patrons. They want to feel better protected as they are on the frontlines and at a greater risk in dealing with guests.

Guests Not Complying

It has been seen within casinos around the US that guests are not being compliant when it comes to casino regulations regarding Covid-19. Just a few weeks ago, in Las Vegas, patrons were seen gathering in large groups and not wearing masks. At the time, only employees were required to wear a mask and guests were encouraged to do so.

About two weeks later, the cases of the virus continued to increase, so the governor of Nevada issued a mandate that everyone in a public place in the state must wear a mask. We may eventually see the same across the US as more and more people are not wearing masks or properly social distancing.

While a mask will not keep one from getting the virus, it does help to slow the spread. With covid-19, there are people who are infected with the virus and do not show signs, which is known as being asymptomatic. People who are asymptomatic and do no wear the mask are risking infecting others. Casinos, just like other businesses, are asking patrons to wear a mask in case they have the virus and could potentially spread it to others without knowing.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.