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Tachi Palace Casino Resort to re-open

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Update 10:30 a.m. May 26: Tachi Palace Casino Resort officials announced the property will reopen in two phases beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 28 with numerous added safety measures in place including the use of infrared cameras to determine body temperatures of both customers and employees. 

In addition, everyone will also be required to wear masks and must be 21 to enter.

Slot machines, the hotel, and limited restaurants will open first. Table Games will look to open up approximately two weeks after, said Michael Olujic, General Manager of Tachi Palace Casino Resort. 

The slot floor, to be open 24 hours, has been reconfigured and an additional 23,000 square feet has been added to the third floor along with glass for a view of the casino below. All slot machines will be available to use and for those not spaced 6-feet apart, plexiglass has been added for player safety.

The table game area has been reconfigured to feature one large area that accommodates additional tables that will be limited to three players each, also with plexiglass for separation.

There we’ll also be frequent deep cleaning of chips and an increase in refreshing card decks, Olujic said. 

Restaurants in the casino will offer food to go and tables are also spaced 6 feet apart. Numerous hand sanitizing stations, including mounted ones on the ticket machines and in all elevators, have been placed throughout the property and are clearly marked, making them easy to locate, Olujic said. 

The casino is still deciding when to start up bingo and re-opening the Coyote Entertainment Center, which features a movie theater and bowling alley, Olujic said. 

Original story 7 a.m. May 26: Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino announced it will partially reopen on June 1.

In late April, Eagle Mountain Casino in Tulare County reported its temporary closure would be through June 1, as well.

Table Mountain Casino in Friant previously announced it was closing through May 31.  

Tachi Palace temporarily closed its doors in late March. The Lemoore-based casino has not announced its re-opening plans.

When Chukchansi does reopen, the casino said it will limit capacity, install touchless transaction stations, and conduct increased sanitation safety procedures.

In addition, buffets will be closed and restaurants will offer reduced seating capacity, disposable menus and the resort’s hotel will be closed.

Eagle Mountain Casino and Table Mountain Casino have not announced what changes were planned for its gaming centers.

Many Las Vegas properties have also aimed for a June 1 restart. But not every resort will be open. Nightclubs, dayclubs and large venues will remain closed. Cirque du Soleil shows will stay dark, at least for now.

“You’re going to see a lot of social distancing,” said Sean McBurney, general manager at Caesars Palace. “If there’s crowding, it’s every employee’s responsibility to ensure there’s social distancing.”

Dice will be disinfected between shooters, chips cleaned periodically and card decks changed frequently. At some resorts guests will be encouraged to use cellphones for touchless check in, as room keys, and to read restaurant menus.

Wynn Resorts properties and The Venetian, owned by Las Vegas Sands, plan to use thermal imaging cameras at every entrance to intercept people with fevers. Smaller operators in Las Vegas and Reno will offer hand-sanitizer.

New state Nevada Gaming Control Board regulations require surfaces to be disinfected according to federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and “increased attention” to high-touch hotel items like television remote controls and light switches.

Guests will get free masks at large resorts, but won’t be forced to use them. For blackjack dealers, bellhops, reservation clerks, security guards, housekeepers and waiters, masks are mandatory.

“That’s the most visual thing. Every employee will be required to wear a mask,” McBurney said.

Other rules: four players only at roulette, six at craps. Plastic partitions will separate dealers from players and players from each other at the Bellagio, three at each table.

MGM Resorts plans to open just two of its 10 Strip properties at first: Bellagio and New York-New York.

Caesars Entertainment plans to open Caesars Palace and the Flamingo Las Vegas at first, followed later by Harrah’s Las Vegas and the casino floor at the LINQ hotel-casino.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

James Ward covers entertainment, news, sports and lifestyles for the Visalia Times-Delta/Tulare Advance-Register. Follow him on TwitterGet alerts and keep up on all things Tulare County for as little as $1 a month. Subscribe today.

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