Indiana casinos reopen with big changes

(Photo supplied/Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians)

(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana’s casinos are open for the first time in three months.

The Indiana Gaming Commission shut down casinos a week before the rest of the state went into lockdown. They got the green light to reopen Monday morning, but with precautions. Casinos have redesigned floor plans and closed some slot machines and tables to comply with social distancing rules.

You’ll have to wear a mask to play table games — masks are recommended elsewhere. Tables which are open will allow fewer players. Casinos will disinfect slot machines and dice for every new player, and break out new decks of cards on every shift.

Customers will be asked at the door whether they’re experiencing any virus symptoms. All workers will undergo a daily temperature check, and Casino Association of Indiana president Matt Bell says some casinos have installed thermal cameras to check customers too.

Poker rooms remain closed, and casinos aren’t allowed to resume concerts and other entertainment yet.

Bell says based on other states, he expects a lot of pent-up demand, but he says it’ll take a while for casinos to get back to where they were before the shutdown. For now, they’re limited to half capacity. Casinos are under the jurisdiction of the Gaming Commission, not Governor Holcomb’s five-stage reopening plan for the rest of the state. The last virus restrictions are scheduled to be lifted on the Fourth of July, but the commission hasn’t said whether it’ll loosen casino restrictions then.

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