Posted on: February 22, 2022, 01:35h.
Last updated on: February 22, 2022, 02:19h.
Maryland casinos recently expanded their gaming operations with the introduction of sports betting. But that isn’t all that’s new at the six casinos.
Last week, the state’s casinos began offering guests on-site COVID-19 booster shots. The vax initiative is part of Governor Larry Hogan’s (R) booster action plan.
MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel, Horseshoe Baltimore, Ocean Downs, Rocky Gap Resort, and Hollywood Perryville each have vax clinics on property. Hogan says getting a booster — aka, a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — is the best bet a gambler can make while at one of the gaming venues.
Getting a booster shot is a safe bet on your health, and millions of Marylanders have already stepped up to get one,” said Hogan. “These clinics are another way to get more vaccines to the community, and I want to thank our casinos across the state for being such great community partners.”
Live! Casino, which is operated by Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, has long been doing its part in making COVID-19 vaccines more widely available. The Anne Arundel casino was one of the first commercial casinos in the nation to open an on-site vaccination clinic when it did so in January of 2021.
Boosting Booster Rates
Maryland is home to a little more than six million people. The latest health data shows that nearly 74% of the population is considered fully vaccinated — or receiving at least two COVID-19 vaccine doses. Eighty-five percent of the population has received at least one dose.
That ranks Maryland in the top 10 of the 50 states in terms of vaccination. Hogan nonetheless wants more shots in arms.
Along with the casino vax clinics, Hogan has set aside an additional $2 million in government funds for a promotion running through the Maryland Lottery. Anyone who receives a booster at a state-approved location can enter into a random weekly drawing to win cash prizes.
Each week now through May 3, the Maryland Lottery will draw a single name and hand the lucky winner $50,000. The promotion — dubbed VaxCash 2.0 — began last week with a $500,000 winner being drawn. VaxCash 2.0 follows the original VaxCash lottery promotion held last year. It also paid out $2 million in winnings to Marylanders who got vaccinated.
Last week’s winning recipient, lottery officials revealed, is a resident of Dundalk. To be eligible to win, the person receiving a booster must be 18 or older, a Maryland resident, and have received all of their COVID-19 shots (primary doses and booster) in the state of Maryland.
VaxCash 2.0 is set to conclude with a life-changing $1 million prize drawing on May 3.
By the Numbers: COVID-19 Shots
Hogan’s office celebrated last month the state administering its two millionth COVID-19 booster shot. As of the end of January, the Maryland Department of Health says more than 11 million coronavirus vaccine shots have been dispensed into arms.
More than 95% of the state’s adult population has reportedly received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Though the efficacy of vaccines slowing the spread of the coronavirus continues to be debated, Hogan flaunted his state’s high vaccination rate as a cause for the steep decline in recent positivity rates.
“Getting a booster shot is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your fellow Marylanders from this virus and its variants,” the governor concluded.