The Resorts World policy requires COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment for all new hires and went into effect Monday. The mandate follows efforts to urge employees to get the vaccine voluntarily, which resulted in 78% of the workforce having done so, but now the company aims at reaching all staff members.
“The most effective form of protection against the virus is vaccination, and as a committed community and industry partner and employer of nearly 6,000 people, it is our responsibility to take actionable steps toward increasing vaccination rates among our workforce,” the company stated.
The vaccine mandate only affects new hires, although Resorts World is exploring “effective ways to increase vaccination rates among our existing team members” in order to achieve “a fully vaccinated workforce.”
In the case of Westgate, CEO David Seigel revealed in a memo to staff that he survived a difficult battle against COVID-19 in July, in which he believes having been vaccinated made the difference.
“The doctors who treated me told me that had I not been vaccinated, I likely would not be here today to share this story with you,” said Siegel. “The antibodies in my blood from being vaccinated helped me fight the virus and, to put it simply, the Covid-19 vaccine saved my life.”
Starting October 15, proof of vaccination will be required for all team members, reports 8NewsNow. Siegel reminded the workforce that the virus has already taken several Westgate workers’ lives, and that “the only real solution to encourage vaccinations is to require it.”
Both companies join a growing list of casino businesses implementing vaccine policies for employees. Back in August, MGM Resorts International announced its own mandate, which requires all new hires to provide proof of vaccination: salaried employees, which total about 6,000 nationwide, must show proof by October 15.
The number of casino venues enforcing vaccine mandates is likely to go up in the next weeks, as a federal order by President Joe Biden states all businesses in Las Vegas with 100 or more employees must now choose between having a vaccinated workforce, or see workers face weekly testing.
This follows latest figures showing that Las Vegas is lagging in terms of vaccination rates when compared with the rest of the country. By the end of August, roughly 53% of Clark County residents aged 12 and older were fully vaccinated, a figure 10% below the national vaccination average.