LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Effective May 3, Wynn and Encore will operate their gaming areas at 100% capacity, Wynn Resorts announced on Monday.
This comes after the company says 88% of its employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
"Effective today, the gaming areas at both Wynn and Encore will be permitted to run at 100% occupancy and plexiglass dividers will be removed from all table games and slot machines," representatives for Wynn Resorts said in a statement. The early okay came the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Employees will continue to wear masks and follow health and safety guidelines.
Glenn Crumpton, a tourist from Alabama staying at the Wynn, watched the plexiglass barriers coming down.
“At every table, every gambling table, you are segregated from the next person by you, so all of our friends, we can’t even talk to each other,” Crumpton said.
Morgan Ellis-Foster from Philadelphia believes it is too soon.
“Just because you have that vaccine, doesn’t mean that the people that are coming to your establishments have the vaccine and it really puts a risk on a whole bunch of people,” Ellis-Foster said.
Encore opened a vaccination site on property in January, partnering with UMC. Now a little over three months later, nearly all of their employees have been vaccinated.
“I think having a vaccination site on property actually did benefit them, you know sort of makes it easier for employees,” gaming historian David G. Schwartz with UNLV said.
Wynn employees are required to be vaccinated or take weekly COVID-19 tests. Schwartz said Wynn’s gamble, pushing employees to vaccinate, paid off.
“I think that this tells us that the demand is there you know. I don’t think the Wynn would have put this much effort into getting vaccinated to this extent and to getting reopening unless they knew there was customer demand,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said Wynn being allowed to reopen at 100% capacity early is good news for the future of Las Vegas. While Wynn reached that goal first, they certainly won’t be the last.
“I think a lot of other properties will look at what Wynn did and try to take a page from the playbook and I’m sure they want to be there too,” Schwartz said.
With most Wynn employees vaccinated, the UMC Vaccination Center at the Encore will soon close on May 14. The clinic will be moving near UMC’s hospital campus.
UMC spokespeople said their decision to relocate is also to make additional space available for the many conventions and meetings that are returning and support our local economy.