Casinos Begin To Open In USA And Australia

As countries around the world look at easing lockdown measures implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, casinos have begun to unveil plans for reopening while providing security guidance to staff and guests for it.

After consultation with the New South Wales government, the Star Entertainment Group announced the reopening of its private gaming rooms and up to 12 food and beverage outlets from today, June 1, at its Sydney site.

As part of the eventual reopening, admission will be restricted to up to 500 members of the rewards club on an invitation-only basis, with up to 50 seated customers allowed in the Star Sydney’s fine dining restaurants and other food locations.

CEO Matt Beiker told Yahoo Finance: “We are focused on conservatively managing the business to provide us with the confidence for the next stage of returning our properties to more normal conditions as restrictions unwind.”

Following the closure of its food, liquor, conference and gaming facilities in March, after the government placed social restrictions due to COVID-19, the organisation stood down about 90 percent of its work force.

It reflects a similar trend across Australia with Victoria declaring pubs and arcades being allowed to reopen on June 21 with a limit of 20 visitors along with social distance rules as of June 1 with capacity increasing to 50.

The Twin River Casino Hotel and Tiverton Casino Hotel in Rhode Island announced its reopening phase one from Monday June 8, which will result in 90 percent of the current portfolio resuming operations.

The reopening will be limited by announcing on its official Twitter account, with entry to the casino being an invitation plus one guest with capacity expected to be 25 percent of its fire code capacity.

In a letter from Twin River Worldwide Holdings leadership, it announced that the casinos will be offering slot machines ‘at a safe distance of at least six feet apart’ and that virtual table games with limited seating capacity will be available.

George Papanier, president and chief executive officer said: “We are very excited to continue to progress on our reopening plan and with the prospect of having our full portfolio opened by the beginning of July.

“As evidenced by our successful reopening at Hard Rock Biloxi, there is strong market demand for which we are well-positioned as a regional gaming company focused on local and regional visitation. I am thankful and excited to welcome back our valued team members and loyal customers to safe and secure environments that meet or exceed CDC guidance.”

The casino confirmed that upon arrival all guests are required to wear face masks with staff conducting a ‘non-invasive’ temperature check via thermal cameras or temporal thermometer. Entry shall not be permitted to those with a temperature above 100.4 degrees.

Casino Arizona operated by Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Clan, and Talking Stick Resort reopened their casinos as of today, June 1.

As part of their soft staggered opens, each property will have restricted capacity and implement additional health and safety policies including temperature restrictions, the use of personal protective equipment and social distance.

Ramon Martinez, director of public relations for Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort noted: “We are excited to welcome back not only our loyal guests but also our employees, both of whom have been so patient and supportive throughout this closure.”

“We took great care and the necessary time to implement a phased reopening plan with new protocols that will keep their health and safety top of mind across all facets of our operations.”

In addition to these physical improvements, Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort will pursue increased cleaning strategies with a stronger emphasis on high-touch, high-traffic areas such as slot machines, chairs, door handles, keys, and kiosks. Hand sanitising stations will still be accessible for use by tourists.

“Our goal in reopening is to provide our guests with some much-needed escapism and the fun we have all been lacking in recent months,” said Martinez. “In order to so, it was crucial that we took the extra time to ensure our employees and guests may return to an environment where they can feel comfortable and secure.

“We believe we have accomplished that, but with any situation as fluid as this pandemic, we will continue to monitor and take any necessary additional steps to protect the health and safety of our guests and employees.”

Caesars Entertainment Company announced that the Las Vegas Casino and Hotel in its Harrah would begin operations on Friday 5 June.

This follows the previously announced reopenings of Caesars Palace, Flamingo Las Vegas and, on June 4, pick outlets for LINQ Promenade.

After reopening the resorts will be providing a range of food and beverage facilities, access to its outdoor pools, as well as slot machines and table games on the casino floors with the business expected to comply with all reopening and operating orders from Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and public health authorities.

Tony Rodio, CEO, Caesars Entertainment said: “Initial customer demand to visit the Las Vegas Strip has been much stronger than anticipated, triggering our decision to reopen Harrah’s Las Vegas, in addition to Caesars Palace, Flamingo and LINQ Promenade, next week.

“We look forward to welcoming back guests and employees to a casino resort environment where our enhanced health and safety protocols will be highly visible, including social distancing, frequent cleaning and sanitising throughout the properties, as well as daily health screenings for all employees who will be at work.”

Upon reopening, Harrah’s Las Vegas will begin a $200m multi-year resort expansion including newly refurbished rooms and suites, a refurbished casino floor and hotel lobby, Buddy Valastro’s PizzaCake and the recently renovated Ruth’sChris Steak House.

The casino in Vegas to mark its reopening is the El Cortez Hotel and Casino, with its doors scheduled for June 4.

After reopening the El Cortez casino, new comprehensive health and safety plans were announced, consistent with clear guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, the Southern Nevada Health District and the Gaming Control Board, and the UNLV Medicine School.

“El Cortez has been a landmark of Downtown and the Las Vegas community since 1941,” said Kenny Epstein, El Cortez owner. “We miss our extended El Cortez family of employees and guests and we are very excited to welcome them back safely on June 4th.”

Safety protocols include:

  • An extensive deep cleaning and disinfectant of the entire property.
  • 140 slot machines removed with remaining machines reconfigured to adhere to social distancing.
  • Chairs removed from tables and markings placed on the casino floor to promote social distancing.
  • PPE including gloves and masks made available to guests and employees.
  • Hand sanitisers installed throughout the casinos.
  • CDC approved cleaning and disinfecting products have been sourced and purchased in adequate quantities to allow all departments to keep high touch surfaces clean and disinfected.

The Q Casino and Hotel has also announced their reopening from today after being closed for two months.

The Iowa-entity announced on its official Facebook page: “We are very excited to announce we will be re-opening Monday, June 1st at 8am! It’s been 11 weeks since we’ve been open and we are thrilled to get back to some little slice of normal!

“Unless you’ve been living under a rock, we all know the whole world has changed due to COVID-19. When we welcome you back on Monday, June 1, you will see how the changes have impacted our operations and your guest experience. Although things will be visibly different, somethings will remain the same, like our dedication to providing the best gaming experience in the region.

“With enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures in place and social distancing measures throughout the property, we are ready to start the phased approach to re-opening. With these measures as well as everyone’s collective efforts to stay home when they experience symptoms of illness, together, we can safely get back to our new normal.”