Casinos Will Look Different When They Reopen

Safety guidelines have been implemented for when areas enter the green phase

Andrew Limberg
May 21, 2020 - 11:02 am

Rivers Casino

HARRISBURG (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has released the minimum requirements that will need to be met for casinos to reopen in the commonwealth.

Casinos will not be permitted to open until they are in an area within the green phase of the state’s mitigation plan.

The board released a ten page document that lay out reopening plans. 

Those who enter a casino will be required to wear a mask and are discouraged from wearing a hat so they can be properly identified.

They will also be asked to practice social distancing with signage being places around the casino and marks on floors to help with distancing. Anyone feeling ill is asked not to enter a casino.

Hand sanitizer will be provided at entrances as well.

Employees will receive PPE, receive proper training, have their temperatures taken and those that work in high touch contact areas will get frequent breaks to wash or sanitizer their hands.

Each Casino will also have a Pandemic Safety Officer appointed that will receive any concerns over coronavirus and report it to the state.

There are also many guidelines in place for slots, table games and sportsbooks:

Slots

One or more of the following methods will be followed

1. Installing a plexiglass barrier between machines

2. Removing chairs from certain machines

3. Disabling certain slot machines to create distance between operating machines.

4. Other methods as approved by the Board’s Executive Director.

● Slot machine touch surfaces shall be frequently wiped with a disinfectant solution when not in use.

● Players at slot machines shall wear face masks per guidance by the CDC and PA DOH.

● Sanitizing wipes shall be available for players to clean a slot machine before play.

Table Games

● Table games shall be operated in a manner to maintain increased distance between players at each table.

● Table games shall be operated in a manner to prevent persons not playing at a table from congregating around the table in close proximity to players at the table.

● Dealers and players at a table shall wear face masks per guidance by the CDC and PA DOH.

● High touch points at a table shall be sanitized frequently including, but not limited to pit stands, gaming equipment, chairs and table bumpers/arm rests.

● Dealers, Supervisors or other table game personnel shall sanitize card shoes, dice and other gaming devices and equipment on a frequent basis.

● Casinos shall develop protocols for chips to be cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis.

● Hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipe stations shall be positioned in close proximity to each table game pit.

● Casinos may utilize alternative procedures which limit players touching chips and cards and may utilize clear plexiglass barriers between players and the dealer upon notice to the Bureau of Casino

 Poker Rooms

● Poker rooms are not authorized to operate due to players handling cards and chips. Poker room operations will be re-examined based upon changing CDC and PA DOH guidance.

Casino Cage/Players Club Desk

● Casinos shall promote social distancing at the cage by one or more of the following methods:

1. Installing a clear plexiglass barrier between patrons and cage employees.

2. Installing a clear plexiglass barrier between cage windows.

3. Closing cage windows to create adequate social distancing between patrons.

4. Other methods as approved by the Board’s Executive Director.

● High-touch surfaces such as the counter between cage employees and patrons and touch screen devices used by patrons shall be frequently wiped with a disinfectant solution.

● Hand sanitizer shall be available for patrons on the counter.

Sportsbook

● Sports wagering areas shall be configured in a manner to promote social distancing between patrons.

● Floor markings shall be implemented to assist patrons to maintain 6 feet between patrons in lines and queues.

● Sports Wagering tables, seats, kiosks, ticket counters, ATM’s and redemption terminals shall be frequently cleaned with a sanitizing solution.

● A hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipe station shall be positioned in each sports wagering area.

● Sports wagering ticket writers shall wear a mask and gloves and/or have a plexiglass barrier installed between the ticket writer and patron at the ticket counter.

Valet parking will also be discontinued until further notice.

Casinos have taken a significant financial hit since they were ordered closed back in March. 

“We fully anticipate that we will work with the industry as it seeks to become, once again, an economic engine for Pennsylvania and to restore the first-rate entertainment facilities each of our licensees have developed,” said  PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole

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