“New England casinos are looking to open on ___________.” You have no idea how many times this opening line has been re-written! Today I can honestly report this headline – Connecticut Casinos Reopening June 1st. The fact is, we are now seeing casinos opening across the country. New England casinos are still struggling with a different PPE – Procedures, Precautions, and Expected Delays for opening. Anything reported today could definitely change at any property.
Connecticut Casinos Reopening June 1st Controversy
As of this posting, both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun will be opening up for the first time since mid-March. Gov. Lamont’s phase 1 opening the state includes shopping malls and other retailers. Connecticut’s first phase of opening up does not include casinos.
“I think [opening casinos is ] incredibly risky,” Lamont said. “And it’s risky for the people that work at the casinos, and it’s risky for the people that go to the casinos. It’s risky for the region, because you have a lot of employees who go back out to the region.” Connecticut has been one of a five state coalition that was hit hard by COV-19, with New York being the hot spot.
Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods Corroborate on Precautions
Expect many changes. The tribes maintain they will exceed the state’s phased guidance and safety protocols. Neither property will open its concert venues, buffets or poker rooms. Restaurants will be open for takeout only.
Officials from both Mohegan and Pequot tribes say they will use infrared temperature scanners at casino entrances. Customers are required to use face masks. If customers do not have the proper PPE, they will be provided free. Employees will use personal protective equipment as well.
By the way, don’t go if you have symptoms or a fever. Your temperature must be below 100.4 when entering. Consequently, as defined by the CDC, anyone with an elevated temperature will be turned away.
Both casinos ask patrons to maintain Social Distancing. Staying 6-10 feet apart will be the expected norm as much as possible. Signs on the floors will be provided in places where lines are likely to form to ensure distancing. Elevators limit only 4 guests in each corner.
This is the summer of the plexiglass partition in America’s casinos. Partitions are present throughout the casino table games area. Table games will be allowing approximately half the players usually playing the game. For example, a blackjack table of 6 is now partitioned to three. Plexiglass will also separate player from dealer. Additional disinfecting measures will be in place for all table game items including dice, tiles and cards.
Also, temporary Plexiglass separation will be erected at all transactional locations. These include retail, players club, hotel check-in and cages.
Each slot bank will have at least one turned off slot. Extra chairs will not be available. Congregating and watching others gamble will not be acceptable social distancing.
With Connecticut Casinos Reopening June 1st, both casino staffs will be cleaning surfaces exponentially much more than ever before. Sanitize your hands as well as your machine, table and chair before you play. Hand washing stations are throughout both properties. Additional hand sanitizer is available.
Mohegan Tribal Chairman James Gessner said the casinos will not accept any buses, “and clearly not from New York or Massachusetts.” Older customers are advised to take precautions and stay home if they are part of an at-risk group. Anyone with health complications, such as respiratory conditions, should not visit during the state’s Phase 1.
Check the Casino Websites and Avoid Rumors
Social media has been buzzing with misinformation. Go to either website to get the truth. Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods said it will cater only to Connecticut and Rhode Island residents, barring marketing to New York and Massachusetts. This means promotions and hotel dates are specifically for guests from those two states at first. Of course, all people from surrounding states in driving distance are welcome.
Mohegan Sun – What’s Open and What’s Not?
Here’s what’s open: Bobby’s Burger Palace, Casino of the Sky, Sachem Lounge, Sky Essential Stores, Sky Food Court, Sky Hotel, and Todd English’s Tuscany
Don’t expect Line Run and Charter Buses, Mandara Spa, Mohegan Sun Arena, and Poker Room to be open. Pools, Race Book, Seasons Buffet, Valet Parking, and the Wolf Den will also be closed.
Foxwoods – What’s Open and What’s Not?
Here’s what’s open: Grand Pequot and Great Cedar casino floors, the Grand Pequot Hotel, Tanger Outlet Mall at Foxwoods open. Limited food and beverage outlets at 25% occupancy will also be open.
The largest bingo hall on the east coast will not be open. Property shuttles, spas, gyms and pools are suspended until further notice.
Opening New England’s Other Casinos
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has extended the casino closures again. This time it’s early July, a six week wait. Encore Boston Harbor’s hotel will open on July 1st.
Twin River Casino’s and Tiverton Casino’s reopening date is still unclear. Governor Raimondo said. “If that takes us a couple more weeks to get it right, I would much rather be safe than sorry.” She said they are looking into doing an appointment-only system at Twin River once the casinos are allowed to reopen.
Oxford Hotel and Casino & Hollywood Bangor are closed indefinitely. The hotels may be taking reservations starting June 1st. The Harness Racing Season is delayed.
Related Post – Casino Health Means Washing Your Hands