Global Gaming Expo Requiring COVID-19 Vaccines for Attendees in 2021

Another big Las Vegas event has required its attendees to get a COVID-19 vaccine. On Tuesday, the organizers for the 2021 Global Gaming Expo announced those going to the major industry trade show will need to show proof of vaccination in order to gain admittance.

G2E Vaccine Mandate
G2E Vaccine Mandate
The Global Gaming Expo will return to a live format in 2021, but attendees of the annual trade show held at the Sands Expo will need to show they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine or be denied entry. (Image: G2E)

In a release, the American Gaming Association, which presents the annual show, and RX, which produces it, said the vaccine requirement puts G2E in line with Nevada health standards.

We know how enthusiastic the gaming community is about G2E 2021 and we also understand the importance of hosting an event where everyone feels as safe as possible,” said Korbi Carrison, G2E event director in the statement. “We are continuously following government and public health guidance and having data-driven conversations with health and safety experts to guide our decision making. We’re thankful for exhibitors’ and stakeholders’ continued support throughout this process.”

The event is scheduled to run Oct. 4-7 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center on the Las Vegas Strip. The annual show was held virtually last year because of the global pandemic, and organizers expect this year’s show to be the largest in-person gaming industry event in the Americas since 2019.

A virtual option will also be available this year for people who cannot travel or meet admission requirements.

One COVID-19 Vaccine Dose OK

The vaccine requirement for G2E will differ slightly from other mandates announced recently. Whereas the World Series of Poker has required all of its participants and attendees this year to be fully vaccinated – which would require two doses of a vaccine in some cases – G2E is making attendees show proof of at least one vaccine dose.

The policy covers attendees, exhibitors, media, speakers, and Expo staff. G2E will provide details on how it will verify vaccination status in the near future.

“Our highest priority for G2E 2021 is providing a safe and productive event for the global gaming industry,” said Meredith Pallante, AGA’s vice president of global events, in a statement. “We know how important vaccines are to continuing gaming’s strong recovery. Vaccinations are also one more tool to help us safely welcome the industry back to Las Vegas for another fantastic show.”

Since G2E attracts gaming industry leaders from around the world, vaccines approved for emergency use or that have been fully authorized by either the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be recognized. WHO’s list of vaccines approved for emergency use includes AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Covishield.

The FDA and WHO lists are subject to change.

G2E organizers said they will not issue refunds to people who have already registered but will not receive a vaccine dose.

Masks Still Required at G2E

Organizers are also making other changes to the show because of COVID-19. Face masks, which are currently required for indoor public gatherings in Las Vegas under Nevada guidelines, will be required at G2E. The expo’s website adds organizers will continue to monitor and may adjust guidelines to meet state, local and Sands guidelines.

Officials said they may consider granting a mask exception on an individual basis to accommodate for disabilities.

In addition, the trade show floor has been reworked to accommodate for appropriate social distancing and attendees will be asked to comply with directional and spacing markers. G2E organizers will also work with the Sands on cleaning and sanitation standards that meet or surpass federal health guidelines.

While G2E will require vaccines and masks, the show will not require attendees to report if they have tested positive. Organizers say test results are protected personal health information, with testing organizations handling those results based on their guidelines.

“Everyone at G2E should follow public health guidelines and the advice of their physician regarding COVID-19,” the expo’s health guidelines webpage states. “For your reference, CDC Guidance indicates that anyone who has COVID-19 should communicate that they have tested positive to their close contacts so that those contacts can comply with CDC recommendations and Nevada requirements, which may include quarantine and/or testing.”

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