Casino gaming is up and running in the state of New Jersey with players traveling to Atlantic City to access slots and table games. As the coronavirus pandemic remains an issue, employees of casinos are still concerned about contracting the virus from guests. Casinos have measures in place to protect everyone inside, including mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing. However, employees do not feel this is enough. The Unite Here Local 54 union wants to see temperature taking a requirement of guests along with the measures in place.
Governor Not Responding
Unite Here is calling for Governor Phil Murphy to require temperature taking among guests at casinos. They want this additional measure included so they can feel better protected from the virus. The governor has yet to say anything on the matter.
The union hosted a video news conference last week and stated that because there is no cohesion within the casino industry, employees are in danger. Bob McDevitt, the president of the Local 54, stated that if employees are subject to temperature checks for safety, then customers should be subject to the checks as well.
Employees know where they are coming from and what activities they are participating in. As far as guests are concerned, this is an unknown. With guest temperature checks, it would provide an added layer of security for everyone in Atlantic City.
Some Temperature Taking Exists
The casinos in Atlantic City are not required to take the temperature of their guests. However, there are some that are doing it anyway. The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Resorts Casino, Hard Rock and Golden Nugget have all chosen to complete temperature checks before guests come inside.
However, Bally’s, Tropicana, Caesars, Harrah’s and Ocean City are not taking temperatures. They only screen guests by asking specific questions. Employee temperatures are taken before a shift at each of the nine AC casinos. A temperature of 100.4 or higher requires the individual to go home.
With the type of screening the casinos are doing that involves only questions, the venues are relying on honesty. The union pointed out that guests could easily answer falsely just to get inside the casino.
The process of temperature checks would be quite simple and quicker than any questioning process. For facilities that are completing temperature readings of guests, even non-casinos, the process is completed with a touchless thermometer. The thermometer is pointed at the individual’s forehead and a reading taken.
It takes only seconds to know if a person has a temperature or not. The union feels this step is necessary to provide more protection as the coronavirus continues to be an issue not just in New Jersey but across the US and around the world.
It is yet to be seen if Governor Murphy will add this to the list of requirements for casinos. There is no doubt that the union will continue to push to see changes and work on ensuring that employees are a top priority of casino operators.