MGM Resorts and the Las Vegas Raiders both introduced US-first policies this week on COVID-19 vaccinations, with the simple equation of jabs equal jobs or attending games. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
MGM Resorts International and the National Football League (NFL)’s Las Vegas Raiders both made US-first policy announcements on the same day, whereby both brands can reject people who don’t have proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
Current salaried employees of MGM Resorts have until October 15 to show proof of vaccination. According to The Nevada Independent, this policy makes MGM the “first large casino operator in the US and the first major employer in Nevada to do so.”
Also making a policy announcement on August 16 were the Las Vegas Raiders. They took to Twitter to share the news that fans wanting to attend the franchise’s games at the Allegiant Stadium have to show proof of vaccination:
As such, the Raiders will not require masks to be worn inside the Allegiant. According to the Associated Press, the no masks for fully vaccinated fans is “a first-in-the-NFL policy.”
MGM determined to do its part
MGM Resorts will also imminently require COVID-19 vaccines for all new hourly and salary hires. The operator can turn away all potential new staff across all its US properties, starting August 30, if they fail to show proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19.
MGM Resorts’ own vaccination announcement on Monday was somewhat sweetened by its president and CEO Bill Hornbuckle’s letter to employees. It acknowledged that the casino operator “did not take lightly” that the move “may be an unwelcome development” for some of its staff.
While its new vaccination policy does not extend to currently employed hourly workers, MGM said is examining ways to expand its new vaccine requirement. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, MGM company spokesman Brian Ahern said the casino operator has over 6,000 salaried employees nationwide.
Hornbuckle, who said he had seen “firsthand the devastation” that the virus can cause within the families of employees, said his firm was “determined to do our part to curb the spread of the virus.”
Raiders’ policy starts with Ravens
The Raiders’ policy to check all fans coming through the Allegiant Stadium turnstiles comes into effect for the NFL team’s first regular-season game on September 13 against the Baltimore Ravens.
The team made the decision just hours after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced that large indoor venues in cities such as Las Vegas can drop state mask requirements if they can prove their guests’ vaccination status. Sisolak shared an update on August 17 via Twitter, outlining the key takeout from the new Directive 049:
Raiders owner Mark Davis said his franchise’s policy came after consulting with Gov. Sisolak and other community leaders in Nevada. The requirement ensures that the NFL team can “operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season.”
Nevada fighting back
Sisolak’s announcement to incentivize measures for large events and conventions provides a silver lining for what is the lifeblood of the southern Nevada economy.
they know that when they walk in that arena, or that stadium, everybody’s vaccinated.”
As unmasked fans once again gather en masse to cheer on their teams, the images will offer a welcome symbolic contrast to the initial sense of deja vu that followed Sisolak’s order to reimpose masks starting July 30. As the governor said confidently on August 16, the new directive “is going to get people more people wanting to go to an event because they know that when they walk in that arena, or that stadium, everybody’s vaccinated.”