MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Employees at Mount Airy Casino Resort are calling on resort officials to change some of the casino's rules during this pandemic, and heavily enforce those that are in place.
"To me it was like, they gave me two options, to go to work to die or go home and starve," said one worker, expressing how some workers at Mount Airy feel these days.
Those employees believe the casino is not taking all the necessary precautions and say what they're asking for is not a lot.
"Something really simple as taking the guest temperatures when they come in. Monroe County borders New Jersey and most of our guests come from New Jersey and New York, and right now, we're pretty much the only game in town as far as casinos go," said Toni Zimmerman, a table dealer at Mount Airy.
At other casinos in our area, like Mohegan Sun Pocono, employees and guests are getting their temperatures taken when they enter the building.
"They were checking our temperatures and it only took them two seconds. They have like those no-touch thermometers, it's so fast. I don't understand why we can't."
Another issue several workers want to be addressed is smoking on the casino floor. While masks are required on the casino floor, people may lower them to drink, eat, or smoke.
Employees say guests are taking advantage and want smoking to be prohibited in the casino.
"People are just walking around with their masks on their chin and some of them I have seen be approached by security and asked to put there mask back on. And they put it on and take it right off or they pop a cigarette in their mouth to avoid it."
In response to the safety of their employees Mount Airy officials released a statement to Newswatch 16:
"The well-being of our team members is our top priority and we want them to feel as safe as possible returning to work. With respect to COVID-19, Mount Airy Casino Resort is committed to following CDC guidance on workplace safety and cleanliness and has satisfied all required Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board protocols for reopening in order to ensure the safety of our Team Members. If any Team Member does not feel adequately protected on property or feels unsafe returning to the work environment, we encourage them to reach out to their supervisor or HR so that we may address their concerns directly."
"When we step out onto the gaming floor and we are a foot away, basically, from guests and standing in the middle of this casino with upwards of 3,000 people, we want to know that they are doing everything that they can to protect us," said a casino worker.
Employees say if these changes can be made, they will feel more comfortable to go to work.