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Date still up in the air

Caesars Entertainment Corporation has announced its plans to reopen its casinos in Las Vegas. In a press release issued on Thursday, May 21, the company said that Caesars Palace and the Flamingo Las Vegas are first in line to begin admitting guests.

No date was provided for the first day back in operation, though the Caesars booking website is allowing reservations starting on May 29. Nevada is in Phase 1 of its reopening transition, but casinos are not part of the initial stage. Governor Steve Sisolak will determine when gambling can restart; Caesars Palace and the Flamingo will open the first day they are allowed.

“We are hopeful that the country’s continued progress in addressing COVID-19 and business conditions will allow us to reopen more of our properties and bring back more of our colleagues as it is appropriate to do so,” said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio.

Gradual reopening

At the outset, both Strip properties will give guests access to their hotels, outdoor pools, and some dining. Slot machines and table games will also be open. Caesars believes that some of the LINQ Promenade retail and dining locations will also be available.

Live entertainment, spas, bars, buffets, and valet parking will not be available to guests.

As one would expect, the company is implementing a multitude of health and safety measures to try to keep guests and staff safe. These include things like social distancing procedures, reduced capacity, and extensive sanitization.

On the casino floor specifically, banks of slot machines “have been arranged to allow for proper social distancing” and will be disinfected multiple times per day. Hand sanitizing stations have also been installed near each slot bank. Just three players are permitted per blackjack, pai gow, and carnival table game. Four players are allowed at roulette and poker tables. Craps tables will be limited to six players.

The casinos will not allow crowds of people to gather around tables. Dealers will be the only ones to touch cards whenever possible and cards will be replaced more frequently than usual.

Guests will also be able to park for free at Caesars Palace in the self-park areas that normally require payment.

Competitors’ plans look similar

Most gaming companies have announced preliminary plans to reopen in Nevada. MGM has said that New York-New York and Bellagio will likely be its first properties to welcome guests. New York-New York is accepting reservations beginning June 1.

MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle told USA Today: “We’ll go slow. We’ll be responsive and responsible.”

Wynn Resorts has not made any official proclamations, but CEO Matt Maddox told employees earlier this month that he is aiming for late May. Wynn and Encore restaurants Allegro, Jardin, Lakeside, Mizumi, and SW Steakhouse will reopen on May 29 with special pricing.

On Tuesday, Las Vegas Sands announced that The Venetian will reopen first, followed by the Palazzo Tower. No date was given, but The Venetian website is accepting guest reservations starting on June 1.

Station Casinos is also taking bookings that begin the first of next month. Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Boulder Station, Palace Station, Sunset Station, Santa Fe Casino, and the Wildfire properties comprise the first wave of openings.

Boyd, which has already opened casinos in Mississippi and Louisiana, has not announced any specific reopenings. Like some of the other properties already listed, Aliante is taking reservations that begin June 1.

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