Workers in one of Las Vegas’ biggest casinos will be collectively paid up to $1m to receive the coronavirus vaccine as Nevada outlines its measures to relax restrictions on The Strip.

The Cosmopolitan has pledged to offer cash bonuses up to $500 each if every staff members is vaccinated between now and May 1.

In a letter seen by the Las Vegas Review Journal, bonus payments to staff will be tiered depending on the take-up rate. The more people vaccinated, the bigger the cash incentive.

Vaccinated staff will receive:

  • $50 for 60 percent take-up
  • $100 for 70 percent take-up
  • $250 for 80 percent take-up
  • $350 for 90 percent take-up
  • $500 for 100 percent take-up

“We believe that expediting the vaccination process is the most effective and integral step towards ensuring our employees’ and our guests’ safety and the successful return of travel to our city,” said Cosmopolitan President and CEO William McBeath.

cosmopolitan signage at cosmopolitan sports book in vegas
The Cosmopolitan luxury resort casino and hotel in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, File)

Incentive for Casinos

While the cash incentive for staff members is evident, there is also a huge motive for The Cosmopolitan and other casinos to get their workers vaccinated.

Roughly a quarter of all Nevadan adults have received a coronavirus vaccine and the Nevada Gaming Control Board recently delivered incentives to open more hall space to casinos to vaccinate their staff.

Licensed venues are operating at 50 percent capacity but the NGCB issued at statement early April outlining how casinos who take “measurable and material steps to vaccinate, and thereby, protect their workforce, visitors, and the community” can increase their floor space.

“We strongly encourage you to inform yourself with the data and facts that exist supporting the efficacy of this vaccine.” – Daniel Espino, CPO

Last month the state eased its casino Covid rules by increasing capacity from 35 percent to 50 percent, as part of Nevada’s governor Steve Sisolak’s “Roadmap to Recovery” plan.

The Cosmopolitan will offer on-site testing for non-vaccinated staff at the start of May, but members will have to cover a $30 staffing fee. Those working four or more days a week must also get tested twice as Las Vegas Covid measures ramp up across the city.

The casino has spent a reported $40m in coronavirus relief efforts since the start of the pandemic. Las Vegas is expecting a tourism rebound this year following a disastrous 2020 for US gambling, where hotel bookings and show ticket sales also nosedived.

The Cosmopolitan casino’s chief people officer, Daniel Espino, wrote to employees saying: “The Cosmopolitan’s successful return to full operation depends on how many of us are fully vaccinated.

“We strongly encourage you to inform yourself with the data and facts that exist supporting the efficacy of this vaccine.”

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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