Special to California Business Journal.
COVID-19 quickly and unexpectedly shut down most of the United States, including the hospitality and entertainment industries, like the casino industry. While some businesses are forced to close their doors forever due to loss of revenue, some land-based casinos are slowly starting to reopen or plan to very soon.
While plans to reopen casinos may be subject to change without notice, some areas of the country are likely to reopen more quickly than others. Here’s some of the latest news regarding the reopening of land-based casinos.
The Coeur d’Alene Casino, which is a Tribal Casino, opened on May 1 after being closed since March 20 right before the state shutdown. Casino visitors must have their temperature taken before entering, face masks are required, and social distancing is enforced through spacing and only running certain machines. The casino will also modify hours to ensure time for deep cleaning.
The Clearwater River Casino and It’se Ye-Ye Casino on the Nez Perce Reservation tentatively plan to reopen on or around May 16.
On May 11, Thunderbird Casino in Norman reopened to the public with a soft opening and limiting the number of visitors to around 200. In Shawnee, casino visitors are limited to 100 at a time. Both casinos require mask wearing, maintaining a distance of six feet, and keeping table games closed for now.
When many people think of land-based casinos, they immediately think of the Sunset Strip in Las Vegas. The Nevada casino industry employs nearly 280,000 people, and being forced to shut down mid-March affected revenue greatly.
Casinos in Nevada will undoubtedly open very slowly while some will remain closed. New York-New York and Bellagio have tentative plans to open in late May or early June while Boyd Gaming, which owns nine Las Vegas casinos, is holding off and waiting to see how other reopenings work out.
Casinos throughout Louisiana plan to reopen with limitations and safety precautions on May 18. Historic Deadwood in South Dakota reopened casinos over Mother’s Day weekend with some modifications to their usual operations but do not require masks.
-Plan ahead and find out all the details before you visit the casino.
-Bring your own face mask.
-Carry your own sanitizer and wash your hands frequently.
-Even if social distancing measures are flexible, keep a safe distance whenever possible.
-Never enter a casino if you’re feeling unwell or if you don’t feel comfortable being there.
While the casino industry is the livelihood for many communities, there’s a good chance revenue and operations may not “bounce back” to what we perceive as normal. If you’re hesitant to head to a newly reopened casino near you, there are plenty of safe and options you can enjoy from home.
Check out these reviews of online casinos to find some of the most top-rated online casinos in the country that are up and running during the pandemic and have many of the games you love at a land-based casino.