Louisiana, Oklahoma Among First in US to Reopen Casinos

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

One of the hardest hit states by coronavirus, Louisiana, is now set to reopen some of its casino establishments Monday May 18. 

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The news comes as the state recorded its highest number of new coronavirus cases (600) in more than two weeks, albeit this is more a reflection of increased testing.   On a brighter note, hospitalizations reached the lowest number since March.

It should be noted that New Orleans five casinos will remain closed.

Each of the gaming venues will only be allowed to operate 25% of their gaming machines and must screen the temperatures of customers and employees. 

Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones says each of the gaming venues will also be limited to 25% of their normal occupancy limits. For example, if a video poker parlor is normally allowed to have 200 customers inside, the facility will only be able to have 50 customers during the governor’s current order. 

Thunderbird Casino in Norman, Oklahoma joins Tonkowa Casino and Osage Casino as the first casinos to open in the state.

Guests are required to wear a mask, which the casino is providing for the first week. After that, you have to bring your own or buy one. 

Capacity is limited to one-third of normal standards and the usually 24-hour casino is only open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The casino said it's been at capacity pretty much since its doors opened. 

"We're taking temperatures at the door, we've limited the amount of guests that can come into the facility, and we're limiting the amount of hours that we normally have," said Sam Caruso, General Manager of the Thunderbird Casino. 

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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