New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has been urged by workers to make temperature checks compulsory for the state’s casinos.
Venues in Atlantic City have been open for just over a month, with a number of safety measures in place as well as a limited capacity.
While some casinos have been taking temperatures before guests and staff can enter the premises, this isn’t the case for all of them.
Some casino workers have tested positive for COVID-19, though it’s believed that they contracted the virus away from venues.
Union believes that more must be done to keep the virus at bay
As reported by the Associated Press, members of the Unite-Here union’s Local 54 said that four Caesars Entertainment-owned venues have not been carrying out physical screenings. These were Caesars, Harrah’s Bally’s and the Tropicana.
The Ocean has been carrying out verbal screenings, while the Hard Rock, Borgata, Golden Nugget and Resorts have all been undertaking physical examinations before letting people onto these specific properties.
According to the four Caesars casinos, they have been performing verbal examinations for patrons and staff in New Jersey. However, the union believes that this isn’t always the case.
Union Secretary-Treasurer Donna DeCaprio says that since casinos in New Jersey were allowed to reopen prior to the July 4th weekend, Unite-Here has recorded at least 180 instances of guests not being verbally screened.
She also says that some Atlantic City casino staff have caught the coronavirus. However, it’s not believed that these were due to their presence at these venues.
DeCaprio said that “it [the infections] happened shortly after the casinos reopened”. She therefore believes that they were already exposed to the virus prior to venues being allowed to welcome back customers.
Staff also critical of casino measures
Jason McKnight is a bartender at Harrah’s. He believes the casino he works at needs to be doing more to protect guests, players and staff. He said the following.
“We’re not doing a good job even being partially open.
“The rooms aren’t being cleaned on a daily basis the way they are supposed to. This is a lot of people in an enclosed place, and we’re not rising to the challenge.”
Meanwhile, Janey Negron – who is a bartender, working at the Tropicana – also said that the number of entrance points means that not all guests are checked prior to entry. She said that “they do not take your temperature”, before adding that “they just let you walk on by”.
Caesars Entertainment has released a statement in response to the criticism it has received. The operator says that all safety procedures were developed in collaboration “with an expert in the field. Moreover, it believes that these meet state safety obligations and federal health recommendations.
Regional President Steve Callendar said the following.
“Caesars Entertainment’s Atlantic City health and safety plan fully complies with all governmental directives.
“In addition to our enhanced cleaning protocols and other requirements that apply to our valued team members, all of our guests must pass a screening process before being allowed into our properties and must wear face masks in compliance with the governor’s orders.”