The first casino to reopen in Massachusetts should be Plainridge Park, if everything goes according to plan. Late last week, Governor Charlie Baker announced that Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan would begin on July 6. During this phase, such businesses as casinos, gyms and museums could reopen with Covid-19 health and safety measures in place. One day after the announcement, Plainridge Park stated they were going to reopen on July 8, if approval was given by gaming officials.
Preparing to Reopen:
Plainridge Park general manager and vice president Lance George commented on the reopening by stating the casino worked closely with the state Gaming Commission as well as local and state leaders along with officials in the public health sector to create reopening protocols along with health and safety precautions.
The venue will be the first to reopen in Massachusetts, followed by the Encore Boston Harbor on July 12 and the MGM Springfield on July 13. Several reopening requirements were approved last week, and casinos must meet those requirements before they can start offering services once again.
The new guidelines offer casinos information on what is needed to provide a safe and healthy environment for guests and employees. It includes screening guests along with providing hand sanitizer and suggest that casinos conduct temperature checks.
Social distancing protocols must be met, including turning off every other slot machine and remove chairs. This is being done to discourage players from congregating around slot machines and maintain six feet of distance between players. Casinos could also choose to install six foot plexiglass dividers for separation.
Reduced occupancy limits are also in play with casinos set to offer services at around 25%. Casinos must also create a communications plan that will inform patrons of the new precautions involving Covid-19. Slot machines must be sanitized along with chairs frequently at a minimum of every four hours. Signage must also be posted throughout the properties that remind visitors of frequent hand washing, hand sanitizer usage and wearing masks, as well as alerting guests to go home if they feel sick.