Crown Resorts has become the first Australian casino operator to announce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all staff and guests.
Recently appointed CEO and Managing Director Steve McCann told News Ltd on Monday that Crown would introduce a “no jab, no entry” policy for customers and mandatory COVID vaccination for all employees at the company’s three integrated resorts in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
“Anyone working at or visiting our sites will need to be vaccinated,” McCann said, noting that more than half of Crown’s 20,000 employees had already completed their vaccinations.
“It’s important to show some leadership. We are a very large employer and hospitality has been very hard hit. It’s usually one of the first in lockdown and the last to come out.
“There’s a lot of staff uncertainty around job security … there are a lot of challenges specific to hospitality, which is why we need to show some leadership.”
A date for implementation has not been set although both Crown Melbourne and Crown Sydney are currently closed and unlikely to reopen anytime soon due to COVID outbreaks in each city and uncertainty around the status of its gaming licenses. The findings of a Royal Commission into Crown’s Melbourne operations are due to be handed down in October.
Nevertheless, McCann said he would push ahead with the vaccine mandate, which mirrors similar policies employed by the likes of US operators MGM Resorts and Resorts World Las Vegas.
“We’re doing our best to ensure a safe environment and we want that across all our facilities,” he said.
“There will be defenders and people who are critical, but the reality is we’ve got to make decisions based on … (the) safety and job security of our people and our patrons and that’s what we believe.
“Now is the right time to build momentum that the country needs to achieve to enable us to reopen and operate across the board in a safe environment.”