Major Casinos Agree to Virus Testing for Staff in Las Vegas

Employees of three major casino operators - MGM, Caesars and Boyd - will get tested at the Las Vegas Convention Center before returning to work.

Casino companies MGM Resorts International  (MGM) - Get Report, Caesars Entertainment  (CZR) - Get Report and Boyd Gaming  (BYD) - Get Report agreed to participate in a coronavirus-testing plan for workers before reopening their facilities.

“The ability to safely reopen our properties has been our singular focus over the past several weeks,” MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle said in a statement from the Culinary Union.

“This testing partnership will allow us to provide our employees and guests peace of mind that we are taking the greatest possible precautions to keep them safe.”

Testing is expected to commence Thursday and will continue as employees go back to work. It will be conducted at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Up to 4,000 samples a day will be collected.

“Covid-19 testing ensures that Culinary Union members are safe when they return to work,” Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union, said in the statement. “The health and safety of both workers and casino guests is our top priority.”

Almost all casinos were closed across the country in March.

Morningstar analyst Dan Wasiolek sees light at the end of the tunnel for MGM.

“Although Covid-19 stands to have a material impact on near-term leisure and travel demand, ... no-moat MGM Resorts' healthy financial position will see it through this turmoil, and position it to maintain its leading presence in the lower-growth, lower-barrier-to-entry Las Vegas region,” he wrote in a report earlier this month.

MGM shares recently traded at $16.25, up 7.2%; Caesars shares at $10.82, up 3%; and Boyd shares at $19.63, up 5.3%.