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Wynn, Encore casinos can operate at 100 percent capacity

Updated May 3, 2021 - 8:34 pm

Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s Las Vegas gaming floors have been given the green light to operate at full capacity, effective Monday.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board granted the Strip casino operator permission to amend its occupancy and physical distancing requirements after it showed that it had 88 percent of its employees vaccinated as of Saturday.

“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,” said Brendan Bussmann of Global Market Advisors. “Having all of the amenities to make Vegas, Vegas is key and critical to that effort.”

Company culture

Gaming areas at Wynn and Encore are now permitted to run at full occupancy, and plexiglass dividers are to be removed from all table games and slot machines, according to a Wynn statement shared with the Review-Journal.

“Our employees and guests will continue to follow health and safety guidelines, including mask compliance, to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all,” the statement said.

The company’s vaccination rate surpasses that of Nevada, which has initiated vaccinations for 46 percent of those 16 and older as of Monday, according to data from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Census Bureau.

Wynn has been encouraging staff to get shots, sharing videos discussing the benefits of the vaccinations and offering on-site clinics. Workers who do not get inoculated are required to take a COVID-19 test weekly.

Bussmann said the vaccination rates make sense coming from Wynn, one of the first Strip casino operators to publish a COVID-19 health and safety plan.

“That contributed to the culture in that organization that said … ‘We want to get out of this,’ ” Bussmann said.

Casinos across the valley

All Clark County casino floors had occupancy restrictions raised from 50 percent to 80 percent Saturday, and Gov. Steve Sisolak has said that he wants to see the entire state reach 100 percent capacity by June 1.

Gaming Control Board spokesman Michael Lawton declined to comment on whether other Clark County casinos had been approved to lift operating restrictions. An industry notice from April 26 said the board can waive restrictions for licensees that have taken “measurable and material steps to vaccinate its workforce.”

Casino operators across the valley have pushed workers to get vaccinated. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is offering cash bonuses for workers who get vaccinated. Boyd Gaming Corp. is offering paid time off reimbursements for those who get vaccinated, and several other properties have launched on-site vaccination clinics.

Wynn shares closed up 0.4 percent Monday to $128.86 on the Nasdaq.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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