Oklahoma Casinos Rebuild, Adapts Safety And Health Measures
Industry regulators approved the reopening of the gambling venues after they assured strict implementations of safety and health measures, and as government leaders loosened restrictions.
Oklahoma plans to reopen casinos
The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association plans to include social distancing protocols in the reopening policies of its casinos. Oklahoma currently registered 102 casinos, and some of have resumed their operations when the state started loosening imposed guidelines.
The Lawton’s Apache Casino Hotel opened its doors to patrons on May 21, implementing strict novel coronavirus preventive measures. The casino requires staff and guests to wear face masks and practice social distancing in the gambling facility.
Casino and social distancing
Apache limited its guest capacity and required a six-foot distance between people inside the casino to ensure the safety of the gamblers. During the reopening, social media posts showed people waiting in long lines to enter the casino.
Social distancing was implemented in slot machines, shutting down or restricting other players to sit next to a running machine. The machines are routinely cleaned and sanitized with a visible schedule.
The casino limited players to two or three in its table games, like Blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em, and Three-Card Poker, until divider barriers are in place. The casino staff is also advised to routinely clean tables and chips.
Casinos in the state are busy preparing for their reopening. The Chickasaw Nation, owner of the famous WinStar World Casino and Resort near Thackerville, recently said that their casinos would stay closed until May 29.
Bill Anoatubby, Chickasaw governor, said during a press release on May 20 that the Chickasaw Nation plans to begin implementing a phased reopening of casinos, other businesses, and offices soon. The governor announced two days later that WinStar is scheduled to resume operation 25 percent on May 29.
WinStar imposed coronavirus preventive measures
WinStar opened its doors and adapted new safety and health protocols, including the mandatory temperature checking and the wearing of protective face coverings. Markings are also placed to secure distance between players. Gamblers with a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees or higher will be sent home.
During the first phase of the reopening, table games off-track betting, poker, bingo, entertainment options, convention center, and pools will not operate.
Other casinos prepare for the reopening
Comanche Nation Entertainment, the owner of the Devol, Lawton, Walters, and Elgin casinos, plans to reopen after May 29. The casino wrote in their fliers that they are using this vital time to double-disinfect everything in sight, to make sure all can have good clean fun.
Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant will resume operations starting June 1. Garry Batton, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma chief, said that they are putting all of the recommended safety measures in place to ensure that our casinos and businesses are ready for their guests when they open in the coming weeks.
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