Mississippi casinos reopen to the public

Mississippi casinos reopen to the public

TUNICA, Miss. (WMC) - Ready to bet it all? Well, now you can.

Casinos in Mississippi were allowed to reopen Thursday, May 21.

Hollywood, Sam’s Town, Horseshoe, Fitz, 1st Jackpot and Capri casinos in Tunica, Mississippi all opened their doors back up Thursday morning.

There was a full parking lot and a line out the door at Fitz.

Tunica Convention and Visitors Bureau say they’re excited about the reopening.

“Everyone in Tunica is excited about the opening of our casino industry and welcoming back visitors to our destination. The gaming industry has worked overtime since its closing on March 16th to develop policies and procedures that allow the over 4,000 mid-south industry employees to get back to work and safely provide a great entertainment experience for our guests,” said Webster Franklin, president and CEO.

We had the opportunity to a look inside The Gold Strike Casino, which opens up Memorial Day making it the first MGM Casino to reopen.

“Once you see those chips show up then you know you’re getting back to business,” said John Flynn, Vice President of Administration, MGM Resorts.

Employees will have their temperature checked and whether you’re a customer or employee you’ll be asked the following questions…

  • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
  • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
  • Have you had a new loss of taste or smell?
  • Have you have vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?

If you answer “yes” to any of the questions you will not be allowed in.

Flynn has been leading the health and safety protocols for MGM Casinos and he says reopening is exciting. "After walking through these properties for a couple of months and having empty tables, and the lights turned off and not having your employees here, I gotta tell you can feel the excitement that's going on today,” said Flynn.

He says Gold Strike is holding back on reopening to ensure everyone’s safety.

"We’ve wanted to bring hand washing first and foremost so we’ve actually built and installed hand washing stations close to casino floors and also installed about 70 hand sanitizing stations,” said Flynn.

Another new addition, plexiglass around gaming tables.

“We wanted to at least have some sort of sneeze guard her for players that are going to be sitting here… The slots that have chairs in front of them, those are the slots that people are going to be able to play,” said Flynn.

VIP lounges are to stay closed, but Flynn says they are opening some restaurants and their buffet, which will non self-serve.

In regards to cash, Flynn says cashiers will use hand sanitizer between each transaction and all 130,000 gambling chips have been sanitized.

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