MGM Casino Slapped With Massive OSHA Fine

Mia Gardner | 06 Nov 2020

The famous Aria Casino and Resort in Las Vegas has been fined US$12,617 for allegedly violating the state’s physical distancing and occupancy restrictions. The news was confirmed by Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the beginning of this week.

According to OSHA, an investigation was only launched after the organisation received a complaint lodged by a member of staff. The employee complained to the authority about the poor standard of safety in the workplace. Following a physical inspection of the MGM Resorts International property, the organisation informed the employee that the lack of physical distancing at POS-terminals used by employees indeed did not comply with physical distancing restrictions set down by the health and safety watchdog.

MGM Set To Appeal

MGM International has in the meantime announced that it did not agree with OSHA’s alleged findings and that as such, it would lodge an appeal.

The casino operator giant is understandable frustrated – and even embarrassed – by the fine and complaint. MGM has since mid-March played the health-and-safety card as a promotional tool of sorts. The message broadcast by the fine exudes quite the opposite, being that of warning potential customers about MGM International’s properties being unsafe to visit.

MGM has also voiced this dissatisfaction and embarrassment in a statement issued by the casino and leisure giant following the news of the fine. Referring to the company’s Seven-Point Safety Plan, MGM stressed once again that there exists no higher priority than that of ensuring the safety of guests (customers) and of their employees. Nothing at all is considered a higher priority than safety, said the casino group.

MGM Hopeful But Cautious

Physical distancing safeguards alleged to be in place across MGM’s casinos and venues include floor guides promoting the keeping of a safe physical distance between patrons and employees, plexiglass barriers, clear signage indicating the different zones, sanitizing stations and so on, and the wearing of protective shields over the face.

The OSHA fine is but another blow to the gambling titan’s operations and finances. MGM in its recently Q3 interim financial and earnings update noted how a slow and sluggish return of tourists to its properties on the Las Vegas Strip had resulted in a loss of a troubling US495 million for the third quarter of the year alone.

And it’s the type of financial uncertainty MGM chief executive Bill Hornbuckle says has created in the casino operator a hopeful but at the same time also “cautious” view of the days that lie ahead.