HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – South Florida casinos are rolling the dice that customers will return now that many of them are reopening Friday.
Just before noon the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, and Seminole Classic Casino reopened. The bingo hall of the Classic Casino remained closed.
The Big Easy in Hallandale Beach and The Magic City Casino in Miami also reopened Friday morning, and Calder Casino in Miami Gardens will open at 5 p.m.
At the Hard Rock casinos, strict new “Safe and Sound” guidelines are in place
Visitors must wear face masks and get temperature checks upon entering. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or above will not be allowed to enter.
Table games and customer service areas have been retrofitted with plastic barriers and gaming chips are sprayed with a sanitizing solution. Alternating slot machines are turned off. Capacity is limited to 50% and guests and workers are expected to maintain social distancing, according to new guidelines.
Seminole Casino properties have been equipped with air purification and disinfecting systems.
Hand-sanitizing stations are available on the casino floors, at the entrances, and throughout the casino complexes.
CBS4 spoke with Joyce Seigel of Davie who was the first customer at the door at the Hard Rock Casino.
“We made history,” she said as she waited for the doors to officially open.
Seigel said she and her daughter visited is at least once a month before the coronaviruspandemic. She said it’s a bonding experience
Seminole Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen said he’s happy that thousands of workers have reemployed
While the casino, the Hard Rock guitar hotel and half the restaurants are open, he said it well be awhile before live
Calder Casino, the first South Florida casino to voluntarily suspend operations ahead of the government-mandated closures, will also reopen with a focus on social distancing and sanitizing to keep guests safe.
There will be mandatory temperature checks at the door for all employees and guests. Masks must be worn by everyone inside the casino.
Staffers will increase their frequency of cleaning high touch surfaces, like door handles and slot machines. The casino said nearly every other slot machine will be turned off.
Plastic dividers have been installed in areas of high touch transactions and hand sanitizer dispensers and sanitary wipes will be widely available.
At The Big Easy, new health security protocols include temperature check cameras at the entrance. Anyone with a temperature of 99.5 or above will not be allowed to enter. Other measures include spaced out gaming machines and new social distancing procedures for playing poker, and masks for everyone.
The other casino in Hallandale Beach, The Casino at Gulfstream Park, is set to open June 18th
Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the U.S., is having a better comeback than anticipated and that could bode well for South Florida casinos.
CBS4 spoke with Steve Bourie who wrote the American Casino Guide which outlines everything you need to know about every casino in the country.
“Casinos cater to older customers so they may be a little cautious to return to casinos so it could affect their bottom line,” said Bourie from his Hollywood Florida home.
“But locals are likely to come back sooner than Vegas because you have to take a plane to get there,” he said.
Bourie expects South Florida casinos to offer incentives to bring back customers.
“The casinos will be more aggressive in marketing to offer better benefits to entice players to come back because players may be nervous in an enclosed environment,” he says.