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Louisiana Casinos Reopen Today as part of Coronavirus Deconfinement Plan

Starting May 18, all Louisiana casinos that want to reopen will have to propose a safety measures strategy to the state on how the casinos will operate during the current situation, as phase 1 of the reopening plan.

Earlier this week, it was announced that some businesses will be allowed to operate under strict guidelines, while casinos will still need the approval of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. Initially, gambling venues were told that they could open at 25% capacity, but this was increased to 50% on Thursday. 


Phase 1 of the deconfinement plan


Governor John Bel Edwards said the reopening of the casinos doesn’t represent a victory against the Coronavirus, but “a positive and hopeful move for Louisiana.”

Phase 1 includes the reopening of malls and restaurants, as well as racetracks. However, racetracks will operate without spectators. Regarding casinos and video poker parlos, new rules from the Gaming Control Board will see openings delayed until Monday at the earliest.

Employees are required to wear masks and keep the social distance, as well as follow good hygiene practices, such as washing hands. However, bars, tattoo parlors, spas and amusement parks will remain closed until phase 2 of the deconfinement plan will be announced.


Concerns regarding profits


The decision to move from 25% to 50% capacity was in part due to negative reactions from operators over reopening costs. Louisiana currently has 15 riverboat casinos and four racetrack casinos.

Commenting on the announcement, the executive director of the Louisiana Casino Association, Wade Duty, said:

I don’t want to seem ungrateful but if we can only service 25% of the positions, it really impacts the number of people who get called back to work. The revised 50% cap has meant that more casino staff can resume work.

 

Casino reopenings announcement 


Horseshoe Bossier City Casino and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino have already announced their reopening on Monday. The Caesars Entertainment Corporation-owned facilities informed in a statement that they will resume operations from 8am, if they receive approval from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

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