Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano paid a visit to a tribal casino earlier this week and said that Governor Ned Lamont appeared to be softening his stance on the reopening of tribal casinos in the state.
New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and other neighboring states of Connecticut are still uncertain on when they allow casinos to reopen. But, Connecticut’s two tribal casinos, namely Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino, have already opened their doors to the invite-only members. The two entertainment venues opened on Saturday, May 30, before their formal reopening on Monday. They welcomed pre-identified guests over the weekend.
Jeff Hamilton, the president and GM of Mohegan Sun casino, said they invited a very limited number of guests and planned for an entirely manageable response rate.
Foxwoods Interim CEO Jason Guyot said that they decided to reopen as further closure of the venue would have been inconvenient and stressed that they put a number of safeguards and precautionary measures in place to ensure public health safety.
In a joint statement, the two tribal casinos said, “Any person with a temperature reading higher than 99.9 degrees will be re-tested to confirm. If the reading is still high, guests will be asked to return when they feel healthy, and will be reminded to follow-up with their health care provider.”
Among other precautionary measures, arrangements will be made to allow both workers and visitors to maintain social distancing. The casinos claimed to have marked off areas like registration desks to help visitors maintain proper distance from others. The entire properties, including slot machines, have been cleaned and sanitized to reduce the risk of corona virus transmissions. Workers and visitors are being asked to wear face masks as well. In addition, concert venues, poker rooms and buffets will remain closed for the time being.
Gov. Lamont wanted the casinos and other entertainment properties to postpone their plans to resume operations until at least the mid of June because of potential risk of second wave of deadly corona virus outbreak. But tribal properties enjoy sovereignty and do not have to follow state rules because they are situated on their sovereign lands.
As of earlier this week, Gov. Lamont was considering suspending Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino’s liquor licenses. But, no such action was taken as of Saturday.