Coronavirus casino closures continue to sweep across the US and Canada

Casino closures have continued apace across the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic, as strict orders begin to be imposed asserting that land-based gaming establishments must enter a period of temporary closure.

Following a number of similar actions across the weekend, the Mississippi Gaming Commission has ensured that casinos will close until further notice from today, with no estimated reopening date provided in the order.

First revealed by MGM Resorts International, which will close its Beau Rivage Resort and Casino and Gold Strike Casino Resort entities, Boyd Gaming and Full House Resorts subsequently followed up with temporary shutdown notices of their own.

“These are challenging times. Our primary concern has always been the health and well-being of our guests and employees,” said Daniel Lee, president and CEO of Full House Resorts.  

“We know of no instances of COVID-19 at any of our resorts. However, we understand the magnitude of this public health emergency and the necessity to take certain actions. We look forward to welcoming back all of our guests and employees as soon as possible.”

Similar enforcements has also seen Boyd close down it’s five Louisiana establishments in compliance with orders received from the state’s Gaming Control Board, with Full House’s Bronco Billy’s Casino & Hotel in Cripple Creek, Colorado, halting operation for at least 30 days following state government orders.

The Pelican and Centennial State’s official Governor and Gaming Control Board orders have also seen Penn National Gaming close all properties in both regions, with regulatory orders in Pennsylvania and Maine forcing similar precautionary measures against the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

 “This is a challenging time for all of us, and we are very appreciative of the overwhelming support and understanding from our guests and team members,” commented Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National Gaming

“We look forward to reopening our doors just as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will be taking the opportunity to continue our deep cleaning efforts and preparing our casino to welcome our loyal customers back.”

Churchill Downs Interactive has following previously disclosed closures with a raft temporary suspensions at 12 properties across eight state’s, as well as revealing that an announcement regarding the 146th Kentucky Derby is forthcoming.

Canterbury Park Holding Corporation has also announced that based on the advice of state and regulatory bodies, it will be temporarily suspending all card casino, simulcast, and special events operations at Minnesota’s Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino.

Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resorts Casino will voluntarily close to the public for two weeks in alignment with the state’s mandate to minimise the risks and impacts of COVID-19.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has also issued a series of restrictions on licensees who choose to continue operations at this time: 

  • There may be no more than three chairs at each table game. 
  • Each gaming machine must be cleaned and sanitized at least once every two hours.
  • Patrons may not serve themselves from buffets that remain open. Similarly, employees may not serve themselves in employee dining areas.
  • The gaming floor and other public areas of a licensee’s property must operate under the latest social distancing guidance from Nevada’s medical advisory team.

In Canada, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation has confirmed that an orderly shutdown of all casinos, community gaming centres and bingo halls across the region was to be completed yesterday, following a directive issued by Attorney General David Eby and announced today by Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry.