Arlington Casino Is First To Open Doors In Western Washington Since COVID Outbreak
The casino added new measures in its check-in process to accord with government measures against the virus.
The 22 tribes that operate 20 casinos in the reservation lands of Washington can impose independent decisions on reopening. The tribes retained their decision-making power amidst the choice of Governor Jay Inslee of placing the area under home quarantine until the end of May.
Casino imposes new check-in rules
The Arlington casino followed government orders to shut down operations effective late March. The casino implemented several COVID-19 preventive measures since the first phase of its reopening. The casino website said that that one of the latest rules requires its guests to bring cellphones since the casino’s check-in process now involves texting.
Guests of the casino need to pass through its parking lot and follow check-in directions. The casino’s parking garage and valet are closed until things turn back to normal. The website also said that guests would receive safety guidelines to follow inside the casino and a virtual line, accessible via text message on a phone number.
Guests will be notified of their requests to enter as they wait on their cars. They will receive a text message which signals their turn to remain in the line in the casino entrance. After receiving a text back, guests with mobility restrictions are required to wait in the casino’s drop-off area outside the main door of the casino.
On Wednesday, KIRO-TV released footage of a long line of cars queued outside the entrance of the casino’s parking lot. The long waiting line in the casino on Wednesday attracted the attention of social media users.
COVID-19 preventive measures before check-in
The operators of the casino require the guests to pass a temperature and ID check. They are also required to bring their face masks before entering the casino. The Stillaguamish tribe implemented a no-smoking-policy inside the casino to promote a healthier environment. The Arlington casino is the first casino in Western Washington to enforce a no smoking policy. The casino, however, provided a smoking area outside of the casino.
The casino imposed additional sanitization and disinfection policies like placing hand-sanitizing stations in every part of the facility. Social distancing is also practiced and maintained inside the gambling house, limiting guests to half of its floor capacity to only 800 at a time.
Four restaurants in the casino will open, which will only cater to 25 percent of their seating capacity. The restaurants will use disposable glasses and flatware to avoid virus spread. The Grind, the coffee bar inside the casino, is also open.
Stillaguamish tribe Chairman Shawn Yanity said the casino moved to reopen because of the need to pay bills and loans. They are also concerned that they laid off 850 employees who are willing to go back to work.
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