TUNICA, Miss — Ready to try your luck at slots or table games? Casinos in Tunica are back open for business. All but the Gold Strike opened Thursday, and it will open Monday.
Before people are allowed inside the Horseshoe Casino, they are stopped at the door, asked health questions, and required to sanitize their hands. Once inside, Local24 News saw chairs taken away at slot machines to allow for social distancing, and only some of the game tables operating, with less people at them. The changes are to comply with new COVID-19 gaming regulations.
We observed about half the visitors were wearing masks.
“I'm feeling safe. I got my mask and I’ll make sure I wear it," said Larry Frazier. We caught up with Frazier as he was going into a casino.
The Gold Strike Casino isn't open just yet. It opens Monday. A company spokesperson says they have gone beyond the minimum requirements to open back up.
Not only will guests be screened and given a mask, lots of plexiglass has been installed - not only at locations where customers would interact with employees, but on the casino floor itself.
“First thing you are going to see is plexiglass set up at many of our table games. You are going to see some slots will have chairs in front of them, others will not - to respect the six-foot social distancing," said John Flynn, VP and head of MGM's Health and Safety Strategy.
The plexiglass allows people to play games and still be separated from each other.
In addition to hand sanitizing stations, "We've designed a new hand washing station in the middle of the casino floor, where you can go wash your hands with soap and water," said Flynn.
All employees will have to go through a health screening when they come to work - which includes a sensor that automatically takes temperature.
On the floor, when it comes to table games, dice will be sanitized and swapped out after each shooter, and there are new disinfecting procedures for handling of chips.
Those working behind the scenes on the changes say there is an art to this.
"The art is to still provide that great entertainment experience, and to also know you have this extra sense of safety around you," said Flynn.