Atlantic City casinos eye resumption as Michigan sets out safety standards

The resumption of action across the US land-based gaming industry continues apace, as many jurisdictions strive to follow the early lead set by those state’s that have already permitted casino establishments to swing open the doors once again.

After Las Vegas got the action underway last week, a move which AGA president and CEO Bill Miller described as “a pivotal moment in our recovery,” US media outlets continue to carry reports that Atlantic City could be following suit on the Independence Day holiday of Saturday 4 July.

In preparation for that potential date the east coast gaming destination’s multitude of properties will be busy implementing their own safety protocols and procedures, including Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment’s Resorts Casino Hotel.

In response to the global health crisis the property has established a ‘Play Safe, Work Safe’ plan in order to welcome back guests and team members.

The strategy includes a significant capital investment to improve air quality, as well as clean and sanitise surfaces across the property, in addition to the installation of advanced bipolar ionisation and UV technology to purify the air and clean surfaces.

Furthermore, Resorts, which asserts that it will be ready to reopen as soon as the state indicates that it can do so, has stipulated a number of the measures as part of the plan that directly relate to the guest experience. These include:

  • Hotel guests can utilise mobile express check-in and checkout.
  • Casino and hotel elevators will maintain a maximum occupancy of four people.
  • Social distancing will be seen throughout the property including on the casino floor where every other slot machine will be available for play and there will be limited seating at all table games.
  • Seating in Resorts-owned and tenant-operated restaurants will be reduced to provide a comfortable dining experience.
  • Hand sanitiser stations and hand wipes will be readily available throughout the property for the convenience of both guests and team members. 

“We want our guests to be able to enjoy the friendly and warm experience that has always been part of our core values but with the addition of new health and safety measures,” stated Mark Giannantonio, president and CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel.

“We are excited about being one of the safest destinations in our region upon reopening. We will be utilising what research has shown to be the best sanitisation and air quality technology available today. As we adapt to our ‘new normal,’ we have taken the steps to provide for the safety and well-being of our team members and guests.”

The Wolverine State is also eyeing its own resumption after the Michigan Gaming Control Board approved minimum reopening guidelines for the Detroit casinos to protect public health and safety. The casinos will remain closed until reopening can be permitted under Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Safe Start Plan.

The minimum guidelines for initial opening include a limit of 15 per cent of the legal capacity at each casino, limited entrance points with temperature checks, a ban on smoking on the casino floors, no poker rooms, heightened cleaning protocols and social distancing.

“In compiling these minimum guidelines, we considered CDC recommendations, Nevada Gaming Board guidelines and information from the National Indian Gaming Commission,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director. 

“We required the casinos to propose reopening plans, and we consulted with the casino unions on the guidelines. We believe the guidelines will protect the public when it is safe to reopen the casinos.”