As COVID-19 continues to be an issue across the United States, more casinos are getting serious about vaccinations. In Louisiana, the Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino now requires everyone to provide proof that they are vaccinated or a negative COVID test must be presented before they are allowed inside. This decision is part of a labor mandate issued by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
The vaccine mandate is strict and covers not only casinos and race tracks in the area, but also restaurants, bars, concerts, gyms, and the Caesars Superdome. Anyone entering any of these facilities must have proof of vaccination or show a negative test before they can enter. This marks the first time that such a mandate has been issued in the United States involving a casino or gaming property.
New Orleans is now part of a shortlist of cities where vaccination is required to take part in certain activities. San Francisco and New York have similar requirements in place. In Las Vegas, some entertainment venues may require a vaccination by the fall.
For individuals who feel that the vaccination mandate is against their civil rights may try to fight the actions in cities like New Orleans or New York. Fights have been ongoing when it comes to mask-wearing, even when mandates were in place.
The vaccination issue is much bigger and will most likely cause an even larger uproar if more cities across the nation decide to enact such a requirement. For the casino industry, operators have been at the forefront of protective services, from mask-wearing, social distancing, and cleaning, to hosting vaccination clinics and providing incentives.
Because of their due diligence, it would not be surprising to see some casinos come on board and require vaccination among employees and possibly visitors in the future.