PGCB issues 10-page protocols For Casino Reopening

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has published a checklist, shared with casino operators in the Commonwealth, detailing the minimum conditions that must be in effect before reopening their facilities.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 12 operating casinos in Pennsylvania have been closed since mid-March, but as conditions improve in the Commonwealth, Governor Tom Wolf has approved the reopening of casinos in a way that promotes the health of guests and employees and ‘assures an environment conducive to proper regulatory oversight.’

PGCB executive director Kevin O’Toole said: “As conditions throughout the Commonwealth improve and the reopening of casinos is authorised, the PGCB desires to assure that re-openings occur in a manner which promote the safety of casino patrons and employees alike as well as assure an environment conducive to proper regulatory oversight.”

O’Toole reported that the PGCB has laid down these new operating criteria based on best practises principles along with the numerous plans written by Pennsylvania-based gaming companies.

The PGCB states in the 10-page document that all casinos must comply with all recommendations and protocols provided by the CDC and the Health Department of Pennsylvania to deal with the COVID-19 virus in order to minimise its effects.

In addition to these guidelines, the Board has also set its own minimum requirements. It notes that all customers entering the casino will need to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth when at the premises and is prohibited from wearing hats.

Casinos should consider introducing measures to recognise guests with fever or other sickness symptoms with staff being qualified to recognise potential signs, therefore anyone exhibiting such symptoms will not be able to enter them.

Social distancing will be implemented in casino premises, with floor markings and/or queuing systems to conform to the six-feet law outside the entrances and inside the casino.

For any COVID-19 related problems, casinos shall also hire a ‘Pandemic Safety Officer’ for its employees.

Hand sanitisers and wipes will be made available in the casino with its employees raising their cleaning schedule with a minimum, emptying and desinfecting trash cans, cleaning hard surfaces, refilling hand sanitisers and sanitising wipe positions required of them.

Casinos will temporarily close parts to do a deep cleaning with notification from the board’s Casino Compliance office.

O’Toole concluded: “While these guidelines for casino operations will be subject to amendment as we move closer to a time of reopening, we believe this plan will be effective in mitigating and reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for all employees, patrons, and other guests,”

“We fully anticipate that we will work with the industry as it seeks to become, once again, an economic engine for Pennsylvania and to restore the first-rate entertainment facilities each of our licensees have developed.”

For a complete view of the Casino Reopening Protocols PGCB COVID-19, click here.