AC Casinos Opening for the 4th, Others Shutting Down Again

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
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As Atlantic City casinos prepare to open for the Fourth of July weekend, some casinos that opened in recent weeks are having to shut down.  AC casinos that have been shut down since March will now be able to operate at 25% capacity. 

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“Additional health and safety guidance will be released within the next several days,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said in a tweet that also announced indoor dining may resume across the state at 25% capacity on July 2.

Face coverings will be required of both employees and patrons, as will health screenings.

“If any visitor refuses to comply with these simple safeguards, you will be escorted out of the casinos,” the governor said at his daily coronavirus briefing in Trenton. “We are not going to tolerate any knuckleheads trying to ruin it for those who wish to enjoy themselves responsibly and those who need to get back to work — especially if those knuckleheads can be spreading COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, some casinos in Arizona and Oklahoma have had to shut down temporarily for enhanced cleanings after opening just a few weeks ago.

The Sac & Fox Nation, a tribal nation in Oklahoma, announced Tuesday that it would close two of its casinos after an employee tested positive for coronavirus. 

Last Thursday, Gila River Gaming closed three Arizona casinos after a 68-year-old security guard passed away from the virus.

In Las Vegas one resort, the Flamingo Las Vegas, said it started contract tracking protocols on Thursday after identifying two COVID-19 positive cases.  The parent company, Caesar's Entertainment, did not identify whether guests or employees tested positive.

An employee of Beauty & Essex at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas tested positive for COVID-19 but had not worked there since June 7.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we immediately notified the Southern Nevada Health District to begin the process of contact tracing and inform those employees and guests who may have potentially been exposed,” parent company Tao Group said in a statement. “Additionally, we elected to test all team members who may have been in contact with the employee. The decision was made to temporarily close while awaiting the results of those tests, and in the interim, the venue has been fully sanitized and deep cleaned by certified experts in preparation for reopening. The safety and security of our guests and employees continues to be our top priority.”

LAS VEGAS -- The state of Nevada has reported its biggest one-day increase in new coronavirus cases for the fourth time in the past eight days.

The record 462 new confirmed cases reported Tuesday came amid an uptick that started about two weeks after casinos in Las Vegas reopened.

Nevada's governor said last week that he plans to leave current restrictions on businesses and gatherings in place at least through the end of June while the state's climbing number of infections is evaluated.

Overall, Nevada has reported nearly 14,000 virus cases and 492 deaths from COVID-19.

- Jagajeet Chiba,

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