US casino operators document restart strategies and safety protocols

Caesars Entertainment Corporation has become the latest US casino operator to document its reopening plans, specifically related to the Las Vegas market, as various properties across the country enter phased reopening strategies.

The company stipulates that gaming and hospitality operations at its Caesars Palace and Flamingo establishments will resume upon the green-light being issued, with strict adherence to directives issued by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and public health authorities mandatory.

Caesars also announced that it expects Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and the gaming floor at Linq Hotel and Casino to be the next properties in Las Vegas to reopen, with timing based on customer demand.

Both Caesars Palace and the Flamingo will offer lodging, dining options and access to their outdoor pools, as well as slot machines and table games, with all operating in a manner consistent with physical distancing guidelines. 

Additionally, the company anticipates that several retail and dining outlets along the Linq Promenade, as well as the High Roller Observation Wheel, will reopen. 

“Reopening Las Vegas in a phased approach will be a significant milestone for Caesars Entertainment as the country continues to emerge from this necessary closure period,” said Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment

“We are excited to welcome guests and our employees back to our properties. We are grateful for the efforts of those on the front lines addressing this public health emergency. We are hopeful that the country’s continued progress in addressing COVID-19 and business conditions will allow us to reopen more of our properties and bring back more of our colleagues as it is appropriate to do so.”

Sahara Las Vegas has also outlined its reopening strategy, with a “comprehensive outline of health and safety protocols” under the resort’s Cares program to be implemented.

The outline details enhancements to the resort’s rigorous sanitation protocols along with new social distance considerations, with the property having collaborated with experts to establish hundreds of additional practices to minimise risk for guests and team members.

“The health and safety of our guests and team members is our number one priority,” said Paul Hobson, Sahara Las Vegas senior vice president and general manager. “In addition to the enhanced cleaning practices, we have developed new service initiatives designed with the wellbeing of our guests in mind. 

“We recognise the ongoing need to stay informed regarding the latest recommended protocols and resources to deter the spread of the virus. We are committed to ensuring both our guests and team members can feel safe when they come to our resort.”

Twin River Worldwide’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi, representing approximately 20 per cent of the company’s current portfolio, has reopened to the public today (Thursday 22 May), with the operator hoping further entities will soon follow suit. 

At all locations, space between slot machines will be increased and table games will be limited if they are present at all. 

Twin River’s President and CEO George Papanier explained: “We are excited to announce we are actively working on reopening our casinos on a limited basis in all markets at some point soon. Some of our amenities may still be limited for some time, however we look forward to safely welcoming back our staff and valued guests.”

Adding: “In addition to developing reopening plans for our seven casinos in Rhode Island, Mississippi, Colorado and Delaware, our corporate team has been actively working on new acquisitions as well, as we are working to finalize purchasing several additional casinos. 

“Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, MS and Isle of Capri in Kansas City, MO will come under the Twin River Worldwide Holdings portfolio in late spring. Additionally, we recently announced the acquisition of Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino in New Jersey, conveniently located at the center of the AC boardwalk and we are expected to close on that property later this year. 

“In addition, we have plans to acquire Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana and the Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada in early 2021. We look forward to providing you with even more exciting gaming experiences as we continue to grow our company and expand into some of the most exciting gaming markets in the nation.”

Further action has been taking place far and wide across the US, including Kansas City’s Boot Hill Casino and Resort in Dodge City and Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel in Pittsburg resuming operations today (Friday 22 May), while Mississippi welcomed the return of 16 of its casino establishments.