NewsPublic Affairs / May 25, 2020

Casinos Must Submit COVID-19 Health, Safety Plans Before Reopening

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Casinos Must Submit COVID-19 Health, Safety Plans Before Reopening

The Indiana Gaming Commission issued standards to the state’s wagering facilities for a limited initial reopening.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

It will likely be weeks before Indiana casinos are allowed to reopen as the state moves forward with its plans for relaxing COVID-19 restrictions.

And the Indiana Gaming Commission issued standards to the state’s wagering facilities for a limited initial reopening.

Those guidelines include reduced occupancy – likely around 50 percent capacity.

The standards also require social distancing of at least six feet for all patrons who aren’t traveling together. And the commission says casinos must use enough security or employees to enforce those policies. Guests coming into the casinos may also have to undergo temperature checks.

The number of people allowed at table games will be limited to three players, with four at roulette and six at a craps table. Some electronic games must be shut down to ensure sufficient social distancing. And all employees must wear masks while on the casino floor.

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The gaming commission's standards says casinos can require all patrons to wear masks.

Casinos must submit detailed plans addressing all of the safety standards to the commission before they’re allowed to reopen. The commission's guidance says every plan will be evaluated in consultation with public health experts.

The standards also address restaurants and bars within casinos. Dining establishments off the gaming floors must follow the state's broad restaurant guidance. But food and drinks are prohibited on the casino floors themselves.

Concerts, nightclubs, live events and shows are also banned in the initial reopening phase.

The commission's guidance also requires detailed cleaning and disinfecting plans from each casino, including a requirement of at least one dedicated cleaner for every 50 gaming positions.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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