EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Tropicana Evansville and most other casino properties in Indiana tentatively expect to reopen at 10 a.m. Monday.
The plan is pending final approval of health and safety protocols by the Indiana Gaming Commission.
Gaming properties in the state have been closed since March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Staff and guests will notice several changes as they return to the casino floor.
“The experience will be very different from a guest perspective,” said Matt Bell, executive director of the Casino Association of Indiana. “The floor will be laid out to ensure proper social distancing among patrons. Hand sanitizing stations will be on the floor. Temperatures will be taken of every patron as they enter our properties. Team members will wear masks.”
Guests won’t have to wear masks to enter the property, but guests must wear them when playing table games. Blackjack tables will have a three-player limit, roulette a four-player limit and craps a six-player limit.
Cocktail servers will not roam the casino floor, as normal. Guests may purchase drinks off the floor and then carry them on the floor.
Slot machines in use will be at least 6 feet apart to accommodate social distancing. Bell said casino properties will regularly clean chairs, rails, chips and other touch points.
Workers will have their temperatures taken daily.
Restaurants on casino properties are under the same limited-capacity rules as others in Indiana. Casino floors, too, will have reduced capacity for the time being.
Congregating of guests in open spaces will not be allowed, and casinos will encourage limited use of elevators. Tropicana is not hosting any large meetings or events.
Sports books also will have social distancing protocols at windows and kiosks. Those facilities will reopen as casinos do, even though there are few sports to wager on yet.
“You put all those things together, and we’ve really gone above and beyond to create the safest possible environment for people to enjoy the games they love,” Bell said.
It’s not known how long protocols such as social distancing and mask use for staff and table game players will be in place.
The last phase of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s five-phase plan to reopen Indiana is to start on the Fourth of July, with all or most types of businesses and activities resuming full capacity.
Bell, though, said casinos plan to keep heightened safety procedures in place as long as they deem necessary.
“The IGC (Indiana Gaming Commission) will make that decision of back to normal,” Bell said. “There is no guarantee (of normalcy on the Fourth of July). These may be the operating conditions for a little while.”
Tropicana Evansville is owned by El Dorado resorts, and the property employs 529 people in Evansville. Those workers have been furloughed due to the closure.
The closure forced the City of Evansville to make $2.8 million in cuts and adjustments to its 2020 budget. Another cut is likely, city government officials have said.
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