Missouri gave the green light for all 13 casinos in the state to reopen yesterday but only two have resumed operations.
Missouri Gaming Commission Chairman Mike Leara told local press: “I believe that the casinos all were ready to open.”
“I believe that St. Louis City and St. Charles County are welcoming the opening and return of patrons. I have not spoken to others but I plan to visit a casino or two to see how it’s going, to see that social distancing and the crowds are kept at acceptable levels and I expect it to be.”
The commission has not imposed occupancy limits but casinos are expected to follow health measures, including use of personal protective equipment by employees and possibly customers, disinfecting frequently used items, closing every other slot machine, and removing every other seat at a gaming table.
According to Leara, civilian staff from the Missouri Gaming Commission as well as state troopers will be at casinos to monitor the situation.
He said: “If there’s any issue, we’re not going to be making arrests or things like that. But if they feel that the guidelines are not being followed, then they’ll call that to the attention of the management of the casino, which has always been responsive to our requests.”
Casino closures, imposed mid-March in Missouri, cost the state about US$1 million in revenue for each day the lights are off.
Ameristar Casino in St. Charles and Lumière Place in St. Louis were the only two casinos to reopen in the region yesterday (Monday). Casinos in St. Louis County, including Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights and River City Casino in Lemay, must remain closed due to county restrictions spurred by the pandemic. Casinos in Illinois are also not yet allowed to reopen.