Maryland casinos began reopening in June, and as of mid-November, at least 133 casino employees who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus report that local media are asking for more transparency.
There are no reports on public information
Information received after a series of public inquiries to Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency showed that at least 60 of all positive cases have occurred since the beginning of October. No such information could be obtained from casinos, and state and local health departments do not publicly report virus cases among casino employees or customers.
Maryland Department of Health and Department of Health Prince George Counties do not require public reporting of casino cases MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, nor Anne Arundel County Department of Health supervisor Maryland Live! Casino declined to respond to requests for information regarding public reporting of virus cases among casino employees.
Of all six casinos that were asked to know how many of their employees tested positive for the virus and what protocol they used to mitigate the risk, only Rocky Gap Casino replied.
A casino spokeswoman noted in the media that the health information of team members is not disclosed and confirmed cases of viruses are being reported to community contact tracking. The casino then follows internal tracking protocols to identify team members that may have come into contact with an infected employee, and are tested once identified. Thorough disinfection of the working area of an infected team member is performed, while infected workers may only return after a negative test.
Casinos experiencing a demand for Pent-Up
Six casinos in Maryland are currently operating with limited bandwidth, in addition to implementing a number of measures to mitigate the risk of virus transmission, including plexiglass dividers, reduced number of slot machines and mask entitlements. According to the reports of the regulatory body, casinos were making almost money $ 140 million per month since re-opening in June, approaching pre-closing levels.
However, recent Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency board meetings have exposed significant risks inside the gambling venues. In one case, the congestion at MGM National Harbor was marked by agents who noticed the lack of social distancing around the bar and drink. The agency also reported a series of physical fights that take place regularly at MGM and several times at Maryland Live! and Horseshoe Baltimore.
Perhaps it is time for the state to consider ways to provide transparency on the number of employees infected with the virus at each casino, as that would be useful information for customers before deciding which casino to visit, sums up the media inquiry.