Massachusetts' three casinos are slowly reopening over the next week

Massachusetts' three casinos are slowly reopening over the next week

Massachusetts’ three casinos are slowly reopening as part of the state’s Phase 3 plan that began Monday.

Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville is set to be the first casino to reopen, with plans to open its doors Wednesday morning. The casino announced the date in a Facebook post published Monday. It includes a short video highlighting new precautions like hand sanitizing stations, six-foot floor markers, and plexiglass separators between slot machines.

In an announcement last week, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett said it plans to open up on Sunday, July 12.

MGM Springfield will be the final Massachusetts casino to open — on Monday, July 13. Their release also came last week.

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Each of the casinos has to abide by strict requirements finalized by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at the end of June to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes must be readily available for guests, and casinos must provide mandatory masks to wear on the gaming floor. Slot machines must sit four feet apart with tall plexiglass separators between them or six feet apart without. For table games, poker, craps, and roulette are forbidden for now, but Blackjack-style games are allowed, with a divider between the dealer and up to three players.

There will also be limits on occupancy, and players will not be allowed to carry drinks around the gaming floor; only visitors actively gambling can receive beverage service.

The three casinos are also taking additional precautions not mandated by the state requirements. Both Encore and MGM will be conducting temperature scans, though MGM will only check employees while Encore will also check visitors. MGM and Plainridge are keeping many of their dining areas closed, and Plainridge is only offering beer for alcoholic drinks.

Casinos have been closed in the state since March 14. Other indoor institutions like libraries, gyms, movie theaters, and museums are also allowed to start opening this week. Phase 3 won’t begin in Boston until next Monday.


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