As Connecticut begins to re-opening through several different phases that Governor Ned Lamont has implemented, casinos in the state are also planning on re-opening their doors to patrons on June 1, 2020 after temporarily closing doors in March of 2020, for the first time in 28-years of their existence, in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The Governor has vocalized wanting to keep casinos to a phase later than June 1, however, Foxwoods invited the media for a walk through of the safety precautions that they are putting in place on Friday, May 22. "We feel strongly about the policy we put in place and we'd love to have him [Governor Ned Lamont] here for a walk-through and show our safety precautions." added a Foxwoods Resort Casino representative.
"It's not the same Foxwoods. We're taking it slow and in phases to make sure that everyone is safe. We're taking a strategic approach to re-opening."
Foxwoods Resort Casino has been working in partnership with Mohegan Sun Casino as well as hundreds of casinos and gaming facilities from across the world on safety precautions prior to opening their doors.
How will this look?
The casino will only operate at 25% capacity -- less than the 50% capacity that retail and other establishments in Connecticut are allowing in their buildings. Only two of four casino floors Foxwoods operates will open in phase one; Grand Pequot and Great Cedar.
Steps to entrance:
- Masks are mandatory upon entry into the casino. If you are unable to bring your own, Foxwoods will provide a mask. Guests are not required to wear gloves.
- Team members will ask whether patrons have been experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Elevators will only permit four people in at one time. There are social distance markers placed on the floors in the elevator and throughout the casino.
- Guests will step to a station that contains a touchless sensor thermometer which will take the temperature of all those who enter the premises. Anyone that has a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit will not be allowed to enter. (See video demonstrating temperature taking)
- Masks must only be removed quickly so that Foxwoods Resort Casino security cameras can document an image of each individuals face.
Bus tours will not be allowed for the foreseeable future and the casino will make that determination when the timing is right.
If any individual is concerned about entry into Foxwoods Resort Casino, the casino urges to take that into consideration and not enter. They have stated that mitigation efforts put in place have been substantial to ensure safety.
Changes in gaming protocol:
Slot machines will operate as every-other leaving space between each machine. They are sprayed-down with disinfectant by employees regularly. Wipes and hand sanitizer will be made available.
Live table gaming will still happen:
- Plexiglass barriers between players and the dealer have been installed at tables.
- The hands of players will be squirted with hand sanitizer upon arrival to the table and any chips or dice will be sanitized and wiped down after each play and daily.
- The table rails will also be wiped down.
- The game will be touchless and cards will be dealt face-up.
- Poker rooms will be closed until further notice.
How the hotel will operate:
Grand Pequot will be the only hotel open at this time and the experience will be different. Plexiglass barriers have been installed at the front check-in desk and all transaction points. All cleaning crews have been trained on new protocol.
- Foxwoods Resort Casino has removed all paper products from each room and will clean with a 10-point sanitizing effort with EcoLab.
- A safety seal will be on the outside of the door after the cleaning crew has cleaned the room and so the gust understands that no one was in the room.
- All deliveries, including room service, will be left outside of the door.
- Rooms will not be refreshed daily - only upon check-out.
- Tanger Outlet Mall at Foxwoods will open with limited shopping capacity and protocols in place.
- Other shops will remain closed for the time being.
Restaurants and dining:
- All food and beverage operations will be operated in accordance with CDC guidelines for physical distancing and will be grab and go only.
- Buffets will be closed.
- VIP lounge food offerings will be attendant-provided.
- Beverage service on the casino floor will be provided in fully disposable drinkware.
What will remain closed until phase two?
- Nightclubs and entertainment venues
- Spas, pools and gyms
- Valet and property shuttles
For more information on our evolving reopening plans and for up-to-date property news, please visit foxwoods.com/coronavirus
(Photos: Vanessa Wojtusiak for iHeartMedia)