Arkansas Casino Rewards Vaccinated Employees With Vacation Days

Posted on: August 6, 2021, 03:11h. 

Last updated on: August 6, 2021, 03:55h.

Saracen Casino Resort in Arkansas is offering extra vacation days and a chance at a weekly $1,000 drawing for employees who show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Saracen Casino Resort
Patrons at Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Ark., play video slot machines on the gaming floor. The resort is offering extra vacation days to vaccinated employees. (Image: KTHV-TV)

“Work at Saracen, and you can win cash for being vaccinated,” Carlton Saffa, the resort’s chief market officer, tweeted this week.

Saffa announced that employees who are vaccinated will receive two extra paid vacation days. Saracen workers are required to show a vaccination card to the resort’s human resources department to receive the additional days off. 

Each vaccinated employee also will be entered in a weekly drawing for $1,000. The drawings will be held at 3 pm every Wednesday from Aug. 11-Sept. 8. About 900 people work at the casino.

Casino managers decided to offer vacation days and a weekly cash drawing instead of imposing a mask mandate or any sort of punishment, Saffa said.  

“If I don’t have a full workforce here to ensure quality service for our patrons, we can’t run our business like we’d like,” Saffa told KTHV-TV.

Low Vaccination Rank

The Pine Bluff casino’s incentives come as Arkansas faces a high number of new infections and a low vaccination rate.

Statewide, 397,238 Arkansans have been infected with the virus. This includes 6,247 people who have died from COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health.

Arkansas ranks 47th nationwide in the number of eligible people who are fully vaccinated, coming in at 37.18 percent. By comparison, Vermont, the state with the highest number, is at 67.75 percent.

Also in Arkansas his week, a judge in Pulaski County issued a preliminary injunction against a state law that prevents schools and other government agencies from requiring masks, according to the Associated Press. 

This came soon after the Arkansas legislature left the Capitol in Little Rock with the law intact preventing mask mandates. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) had called lawmakers in session to allow some schools to decide whether to require masks. He had expressed concern about school children under age 12 being unprotected, the Associated Press reported. Children at that age are not approved to receive vaccines.

Las Vegas Travel Caution

In Nevada, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) has implemented a mask mandate in indoor public spaces for 12 of 17 counties with high transmission rates. This applies to people whether they are vaccinated or not.

This week, a man was arrested in Las Vegas for scaling more than 60 floors of the Aria Resort and Casino on the Strip to protest the mask mandate. Maison Des Champs was arrested at the top of the tower and charged with two misdemeanor crimes.

Health officials in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Hawaii have issued warnings about traveling to Southern Nevada because of the area’s rising infections and low vaccination rate.

This week, Chris Moneymaker, a former World Series of Poker main event winner, tweeted that he is not going to travel to Nevada for WSOP events this year because of COVID-19 concerns. Moneymaker lives in Tennessee.

My 9-year-old can’t be vaccinated, and I do not want to bring the virus home to him,” Moneymaker tweeted.