Indiana casinos prepare to open Monday

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana casinos plan to reopen on Monday but there is a lot to be done before they welcome guests inside again. 

The gambling scene won’t look the same on Monday. 

“The casino itself will seem different,” said Matt Bell, the President and CEO of the Casino Association of Indiana.

He said its doing everything it can to make “different” safe and fun. 

The Indiana Gaming Commission released its guidelines online. Those overseen by the state had to submit individual plans to the commission as well.

Four Winds Casino in South Bend isn’t overseen but it still released its safety precautions to the public.

“We’re not going to put time limits on people,” said Bell. “We are going to keep count at the door of patrons in and patrons out.”

At 50 percent capacity, casinos will be distancing slot machines, all staff and guests playing table games will be required to wear masks, and temperatures will be taken. 

“There will be an abundance of hand sanitization stations,” said Bell. “There will be incredibly thorough sanitization procedures for each piece of equipment every table, chair, and slot machine.”

Though some employee positions won’t be needed during this time, others like sanitization experts, will be added. Casinos employ more than 13,000 hoosiers. 

“The phones are ringing like crazy as we try to bring back as many folks as we can to fill these positions,” said Caesars Entertainment Regional President Dan Nita.

Caesars Entertainment runs four Indiana casinos including Horseshoe Hammond, Caesars Southern Indiana, Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino.

The company is excited to welcome staff and guests back in Indiana.

It has opened several of its other locations across the country. 

“In many markets, we definitely have seen the 30-40 year old guests frequenting and a little bit of hesitation from those who are 65 and older,” said Nita.

That’s because health experts don’t recommend elderly people and those with underlying health issues go out in pubic. If they do decide to go, Indiana University Hospital Medical Director Cole Beeler said they need to wear masks and stay six feet away from other people.

“Make sure that you have an action plan,” said Beeler. “If you start feeling sick, make sure that you have enough supply of medications at your house, that you can protect yourself and that you are able to pursue care.”

The Casino Association of Indiana said it respects the decision to stay home if that is what the person feels is best for them. Those in the association also know some people are hurting financially from the pandemic. However, it knows there are a lot of people who are ready to start enjoying these facilities again.

“We are going to welcome them with unprecedented health and safety measures,” said Bell.

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