Crown Resorts plans to limit access to its three casino properties in Australia to people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Speaking with News Ltd. in Australia, new Crown CEO Steve McCann revealed the strict entry policy for the company’s integrated resorts in Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.
Anyone working at or visiting our sites will need to be vaccinated,” McCann declared. “We’re doing our best to ensure a safe environment and we want that across all our facilities.”
McCann became CEO and managing director of Crown Resorts effective June 1, 2021. He replaced Ken Barton in the wake of ongoing probes regarding the Aussie casino company’s suitability to conduct gaming operations at its three properties.
Crown was deemed unsuitable in New South Wales, the probe concluding that Barton “was no match for what is needed at the helm of a casino licensee.” As a result, its $1.6 billion Crown Sydney opened late last year as a non-gaming luxury hotel and high-end residential complex.
Royal commission inquiries continue in Victoria and Western Australia.
Roughly half of Crown’s more than 20,000 employees in Australia have become fully vaccinated. McCann hopes to greatly increase that rate with the implementation of mandatory vaccinations.
Only one Crown Resorts property is presently open: Crown Perth. Its resort operations in Sydney and Melbourne both remain closed because of recent COVID-19 outbreaks.
The state-ordered closures of Crown’s two resorts, paired with the lingering suitability probes, has caused much unease among workers, McCann added.
There’s a lot of staff uncertainty around job security,” McCann detailed. “There are a lot of challenges specific to hospitality, which is why we need to show some leadership.”
The chief executive of the largest casino group Down Under says there will naturally be opponents to forcing workers and guests to be vaccinated to enter a Crown resort. But the company must make decisions based on health safety. The goal, McCann explains, is “to build momentum that the country needs … to reopen and operate across the board in a safe environment.”
McCann did not detail a specific time for when Crown Resorts’ three locations might begin enforcing mandatory proof of COVID-19 vaccine for entry. Crown is still determining how guests will prove that they are vaccinated before being granted entry.
Crown Resorts is rewarding workers who adhere to the company’s forthcoming vaccination requirement.
The company said recently that employees who receive COVID-19 inoculation will be compensated with three hours of paid leave, regardless of reason, plus an extra sick day. Staff members who have already been vaccinated will receive an AU$50 (US$36.86) gift card.
Australia greatly lags behind other wealthy nations when it comes to vaccination rates. Only 33.5 percent of the adult population in Australia is fully vaccinated. By comparison, more than 53 percent of US adults are fully vaccinated, while 67 percent in China, and 51 percent in Japan, are fully inoculated.
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