Vegas Vaccinations, Restrictions, and Health Passports

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What a week of gambling news! Las Vegas casinos are vaccinating their employees while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reducing travel restrictions for those already vaccinated. Plus, there is now talk of a Vegas Health Passport for visiting Sin City!

Hello friends, and welcome to This Week in Gambling! I hope everyone out there had a wonderful Easter weekend, and congratulations to the Baylor Bears on their NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship! And with that out of the way, it’s time for this week’s big story!

During this pandemic, casinos in both Atlantic City and Las Vegas have gone from being completely shut down to opening with just a 25% occupancy limit. Then it was 35%… then 50%. Now the question on everyone’s mind is when will things return to normal? When will we get to 100%? The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently announced that if casinos in their state want to go beyond that 50% limit they will have to vaccinate their employees… all of their employees! To which the casinos responded: Well, no sh*t!

So far both MGM and Wynn Resorts, along with Caesars Entertainment and a few other operators, have been trying to do just that: vaccinate all of their employees! And this comes on the heels of yet another major announcement, this time from the Centers for Disease control. Yes, the CDC has eased travel restrictions on Americans, meaning if you’re fully vaccinated you are free to move about the country as you see fit. Not that most people aren’t traveling without their permission!

So with travel restrictions being lifted and vaccinations ramping up, will we soon be back to business as usual? No. The CDC still wants everyone to wear face masks and practice social distancing. And now there’s even talk of a Las Vegas Health Passport! A new app has been released that works with testing sites in Las Vegas. The idea being that when guests arrive in Sin City they get tested for Covid-19. Those test results are then sent directly to their phones so they can prove they’re coronavirus free… or at least they were coronavirus free when they got tested!

Reviv Global developed the app and says it could be used as a Vegas Health Passport for admitting people into nightclubs, restaurants, shows, conventions, and so on. So, for those of you hoping that Las Vegas would soon return to “normal”, you may have to wait a little bit longer. Or maybe, just maybe… this is the new normal.

Even if things don’t return to normal as quickly as we would all like, there are still plenty of signs that things are at least moving in the right direction. Take for example the recent announcement from the World Series of Poker, who says their events this year will take place live, in person, face-to-face at the Rio this fall! Of course, they also added that they will comply with all health and safety guidelines (which may or may not include a Vegas Health Passport) put in place by the State and the Gambling Commission. But none of this is going to happen until November, so it will be interesting to see just what health and safety guidelines are still in place once November rolls around!

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