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Some Las Vegas casinos have closed their buffets amid coronavirus outbreak

Culinary Union issues statement after announcement
Posted at 6:12 AM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 09:18:11-04

LAS VEGAS — MGM Resorts International has announced that it is temporarily closing the buffets at all of its properties effective March 15.

The closures include buffets at MGM Grand, ARIA, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Luxor, and Excalibur.

"These changes are temporary and will be evaluated on a weekly basis," MGM said in a statement.

MGM did not provide additional information in response to an initial media inquiry, though the announcement comes as the world deals with an outbreak of the novel coronavirus. It's unclear what will happen to employees working on the buffet lines.

The Culinary Union, which includes hospitality workers in Nevada, said it is sending representatives to bargain with casino companies amid the outbreak.

"Now, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we are working very hard to monitor the effects on Culinary Union members," the Union said in a statement. "The Culinary Union is sending requests to all of the casino companies to meet immediately and bargain on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. We are evaluating the coronavirus situation daily."

Caesars says their buffets will remain open, but they say they will be incorporating cleaning and hygiene protocols into their buffets.

Station Casinos and Boyd Gaming did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding their buffets.

This story was originally published by Joyce Lupiani and Austin Carter on KTNV in Las Vegas.