Caesars Entertainment is the latest gaming firm to announce a change to its “do not disturb” policy, saying that they will now have employees visually check all occupied rooms once per day.
The move comes as part of a trend in the gaming and hotel industries to take steps that might help prevent incidents like the October 1 attack in Las Vegas, in which 58 people were killed and hundreds injured. During his stay at the Mandalay Bay, gunman Stephen Paddock left his “do not disturb” sign on his door for three days before the attack.
Disturbing the Peace
One of the major changes will be in how Caesars designates rooms that wish to have some privacy. Like Walt Disney World, the company will now use “Room Occupied” signs rather than the traditional “Do Not Disturb.” Security staff will be able to enter rooms with those signs after 24 hours, if housekeeping has not been able to enter during that time.
Initially, Caesars had hoped to allow housekeeping to conduct the visual inspections themselves. However, a casino workers’ union opposed that plan.
“After pressure from workers, Caesars Entertainment has agreed to rescind the room check policy that would have required housekeepers to enter rooms with Do Not Disturb signs on them,” Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union said in a statement.
While there has never been a true industry standard when it comes to checking occupied rooms at hotels, almost all operators have had some sort of policy in place to check on guests after a few days. But the timing of those checks has come down substantially across the board in the months following the Las Vegas shootings.
Many operators announced changes to their policies soon after the attack. Boyd Gaming first said it would check rooms every three days even if they were marked as Do Not Disturb. By November, the company revised its position in order to bring that wait time down to 48 hours.
That’s still on the longer side compared to many competitors. Soon after the shooting, former Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn claimed that his staff would now be instructed to learn more “about anybody who was sequestered in a room for more than 12 hours.”
Other companies have been less forthcoming about the specific of their policies. MGM Resorts, for instance, declined to comment on any official stance on checking occupied rooms, though it’s likely that the topic will come up in lawsuits related to the October 1 mass shooting.
Among tourists, there’s been plenty of debate over how much time should elapse before hotel staff should be able to enter rooms, as many guests would consider such an intrusion to be an invasion of their privacy.
Experts question whether such a policy would have stopped Paddock from carrying out his attack, or whether it will help authorities prevent future incidents.
“In reality, it’s not going to stop a mass shooting,” UNLV hospitality profession Mehmet Erdem told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It may make some people feel more at ease. But hotel employees will need to be very careful not to infringe on guests’ privacy.”