Poker players and party people rejoiced Thursday as the Las Vegas strip reopened, but something in Sin City is different.
Sinks for hand-washing, dispensers for masks and gloves, and plexiglass around table games now fill casinos, which are also operating at half capacity. Slot machines and tables were spaced out to maintain social distance.
Various casinos put other safety measures in place. At the Bellagio, workers underwent body temperature screening, and seals on hotel room doors encouraged guests to enter only after undergoing a deep clean. Guests were also given hand sanitizer and a stylus to avoid touching slot screens or elevator buttons with their fingers.
“We are a hospitality company, we are an entertainment company, but at the same time, we want to do this the right way,” said John Flynn, MGM Resorts vice president of administration, told the Wall Street Journal.
Despite the precautions, a stream of guests returned to the strip, eager to gamble for the first time since casinos halted operations in March. Nightclubs, big shows and many retailers remained closed.
Increased sanitization and similar safeguards were seen in Miami, as some hotels in Florida reopened earlier this week.
About half of the 989 casinos in the U.S. have reopened since the coronavirus shutdown, including 257 commercial casinos and 237 tribal casinos as of Thursday morning, according to the American Gaming Association, an industry group. [WSJ] — Sasha Jones