NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Monday, casinos outside of Orleans Parish reopened after closing their doors for weeks due to COVID-19 pandemic. Before anyone could get into Boomtown in Harvey, they have to go through several checkpoints.
"They checked your temperature,” said Pat Fisher. “Matter of fact they checked it twice."
Temperature screenings is part of the guidelines set by Louisiana Gaming Control Board for opening casinos. On top of screenings, staff members will be required to wear masks. At Boomtown, General Manager Brad Hirsch says they are offering every guest a mask.
At full capacity, Hirsch says, 2,500 people would fill the game room. Monday, they were well below the 25 percent capacity.
Restaurant offerings will be limited to prepared sandwiches, drinks, and snacks from Bayou Markey Express. The poker room, hotel, and valet will be closed. There will be increased cleaning of frequently touched areas.
Hirsch says he is not taking a gamble on the safety of his employees and guests. After working closely with the gaming board and state police, Hirsch is limiting table games. Customers will not be allowed to touch cards.
“We’re opening one pit and we’ll offer blackjack, roulette,” he said. “Our most popular games to our customers.”
As for slot machines, Hirsch is spacing it out.
"We had to make sure that we had proper spaces between customers that are enjoying our slot machines,” Hirsch said. “We've turned off machines between each other so that customers aren't sitting next to each other."
For returning customers, like Pat Fisher, there were some nerves on if other customers would follow the rules.
"It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Everyone was keeping their distance doing what they were suppose to," Fisher said.
The casino will close each day for deep cleaning from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m.