Just a few days ago, the federal government provided guidelines for individual states in the US to follow in order to begin the reopening process amidst the coronavirus outbreak. For weeks now, non-essential businesses like casinos, hair salons, tattoo parlors and nail salons have been closed in the hopes of stopping the spread of the deadly virus. And while some people are not ready to get back to work due to fear of the virus, others are. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is pushing for casinos and their hotels to reopen. Employees and the governor are not on board.
Let’s Reopen Now Says the Mayor
On Wednesday, Las Vegas Mayor Goodman called for hotels and casinos in Sin City to get back to business. Goodman says it is time to reopen, despite the fact that the Governor Sisolak wants to take a slow, phased approach. Goodman has no guidelines or measures on how the casinos and hotels should reopen and continue with social distancing and safety precautions as suggested.
In an interview with CNN, Goodman said she wants to open the city so people can get back to work. She was asked as to how this could be done while keeping employees safe and she said that was up the casinos and she doesn’t own one so she doesn’t know.
Employees strongly disagree. UNITE Here president, D. Taylor, said that the comments are some of the worst that he has ever heard. Taylor is an executive of the union that represents over 300,000 hospitality employees in the US. He said that no one wants to go back to work more than he does but everyone wants to go back when to a safe and secure environment.
Employees will not feel comfortable until there are strict measures in place that provide a safe place to work, including social distancing. Facilities need to be cleaned more frequently, with temperature checks in place before people can enter inside the casino venues.
Wynn Resorts provided information last weekend with details of a plan to reopen and how they would enact safety measures such as thermal cameras and social distancing.
Las Vegas Sands Steps Up Employee Payments
As the argument continues as to how Las Vegas will get back to business, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. have decided to extend employee payments. The 10,000 Venetian and Palazzo employees of the company will continue to be paid through May 17th. This is good news for employees who continue to be out of work due to the venue closures.
The company was planning on paying employees through April 30th. Now it seems that venues will most likely be closed for a longer time frame, so the operator extended the payment period. The Las Vegas Sands is not only extending pay but also benefits.
As of right now, only the Las Vegas Sands, Station Casinos and Wynn Resorts are still paying their employees. MGM Resorts International had to furlough around 87% of their workforce and to help, they created an employee assistance fund with over $12 million available.
Sheldon Adelson of the Las Vegas Sands said that they hope to be able to continue to pay their employees until they re-open.
It is still unclear as to when the casinos in Las Vegas will reopen. The Governor is waiting to see a 14 day time frame in which the virus slows down. Once this occurs, we should see the restrictions begin to relax.