The Venetian Likely to Reopen in June, Employees Get COVID-19 Tests
Posted on: May 11, 2020, 09:06h.
Last updated on: May 12, 2020, 08:59h.
The shuttered Venetian Las Vegas resort is now planning to open sometime next month with appropriate safeguards to curb the spread of coronavirus. The Las Vegas Sands Corp. property has yet to identify a specific date when it will resume operations.
Employees at the hotel, casino, and several restaurants associated with the venue are expected to keep getting paid through the reopening date.
Starting Monday, workers and their children, who are at least 13, will get free testing for coronavirus. Tests will be given at The Venetian by the Wellness Group and PMH Laboratory.
Employees will be given two tests, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. One will show if workers have COVID-19. The other, which is voluntary, shows if someone has the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, the report said.
“Our top priority continues to be the health and safety of our Team Members and visitors,” the company said in a statement released to Casino.org on Monday. “Additionally, we believe it is critical for all Team Members to be well-informed about their health.”
Guests’ Perception Key in Reopening
When asked about the planned reopening, Anthony Cabot, Distinguished Fellow in Gaming Law at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law, told Casino.org a “June reopening appears reasonable.
“Many observers miss the critical point of reopening. The government has a minor role in the reopening and recovery of the casinos. The state sets the earliest date the casinos can reopen and imposes minimum health standards. But the actual reopening date and, more importantly, the return of patrons depends entirely on patrons’ perception that it is safe to return to the casinos — or any other large gatherings of people,” Cabot explained.
Rob Goldstein, [CEO] at the Las Vegas Sands, is an outstanding casino executive and will likely take every reasonable step to protect his patrons and workers,” Cabot said. “This probably will go far beyond the minimum standards imposed by the state.”
Cabot adds that The Venetian and “The rest of the casino industry need to convince a large percentage of the public that these safeguards will protect them, while simultaneously offering the experience [that] drives their entertainment choices. This is a herculean task, as casinos have tremendous labor costs, and need to meet specific occupancy and capacity levels to break even.”
The Las Vegas Sands added in its statement its “Top priority continues to be the health and safety of our Team Members and visitors…. Although a re-opening date of The Venetian … has not been set, we are working hard to be as prepared as possible for the day we welcome our guests.”
Several Hundred Precautions at The Venetian
The Venetian will implement some 800 steps to keep the gaming property safe when it eventually reopens. Precautions range from increased numbers of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to using thermal cameras to check for coronavirus-linked fevers.
In its Venetian Clean Commitment plan, the property will have a team of 25 EMTs. A third of them will be at the property daily. That is believed to be more than typically are found at gaming properties.
“Our company will continue to adhere to guidance provided by the state of Nevada, as we look to data to inform our decision on when best to open our doors to guests and Team Members. It is not prudent to set an opening date without the appropriate data to support it,” a Venetian spokesperson told Casino.org last month.
Thermal cameras will be installed at entrances so security officers can check temperatures of workers and visitors. Anyone with a temperature over 100.4 degrees will be checked a second time, and if a high fever is confirmed, they will get a medical assessment and then be advised to receive medical treatment as needed.
Players and other guests can wear a face mask and gloves. But the face mask cannot cover the entire face.
The gaming floor will see stepped-up cleaning. That specifically includes cashier counters, gaming machines, and gaming tables.
“Our casino chips are disinfected at each table approximately every two hours, with additional sanitation procedures in place throughout the day,” according to the plan. “In addition, slot machines and chairs are arranged to allow for appropriate distancing, and table games have a maximum of three chairs per table.”
Those staying overnight at The Venetian will be given a face mask by the hotel. A safety kit with hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and latex gloves will also be provided to hotel guests.
Visitors, players, and employees must keep physical distance from others. Guests need to stand at least six feet away from other people if they are in lines, in elevators, or walking around the resort.
The Venetian will use electrostatic sprayers to clean high-touch surfaces with advanced disinfectant. Crews will also use ultraviolet lights to sanitize shipping boxes, luggage, and mail.
The Venetian’s restaurant tables, slot machines, and other furnishings and equipment will be relocated to ensure appropriate distancing. Restaurants and bars will have less seating.
Special cleaning and distancing precautions will also be implemented in exhibition spaces. The same will take place in conference areas.
Also, Caesars Entertainment Corp. announced on Monday it has reopening plans for its 36 casinos and resorts nationwide. Caesars’ Las Vegas venues could reopen sometime prior to the end of this month, according to CEO Tony Rodio. It also depends on whether there is any jump in COVID-19 cases.
As of Monday, there were 6,152 coronavirus cases in Nevada. Some 312 of the cases were fatal.