In the United States, casino operators are trying to get back into the swing of things. Because there is no federal mandate on what should be opened and closed, individual states are setting the bar as to what can be open amidst the coronavirus pandemic. For casinos, some states are already offering gambling options while others are choosing a slower approach. In Massachusetts, Plainridge Park just reopened and Encore Boston Harbor is set to open on the 12th. The MGM Springfield venue will be the last to get back to work as they are taking a cautious approach.
Not Like Flipping a Switch
For casinos to become operational, it is not an easy task. Unlike flipping a light switch, being prepared to offer a safe and healthy environment takes time. In Massachusetts, casino operators had to wait for the official go-ahead from regulators as well as receive guidelines on how to reopen.
MGM Springfield has decided that since they will not be operating at full capacity and most amenities will remain closed, they will only bring back a third of their workforce. However, for the cleaning team, the casino will be bringing back every employee to ensure the facility remains clean and sanitized.
When the casino reopens on Monday, many of the restaurants will be closed. The property will also reduce the number of slot machines in operation along with table games. It would be silly to bring back the entire work force since there will not be enough work to go around. Instead, personnel will be brought in as needed.
The cleaning department is needed at 100% to be able to handle the influx of cleaning needs based on coronavirus health policies. Originally, the property had about 2000 employees. Now, the property will have only 600.
The goal of the casino is to bring back employees as they are needed. Once the capacity to offer gaming, dining and other amenities opens up, the property will be able to bring back more employees. They intend to get their team back to work as quickly as possible.
Hotel Remains Closed
Due to a prohibition of large gatherings in the state, MGM Springfield will not be reopening their hotel at this time. The hotel relies on large group bookings, so they would be unable to see large business at this time. It would be foolish to reopen the hotel at this time, according to the property’s VP of Hospitality Abe Berry.
The casino does not have a date yet as to when the hotel will reopen. According to Berry, they think that as soon as conventions are back in action and the virus mitigated then the decision to reopen might be made.
For Massachusetts, the state is only in Phase 3 of the recovery plan. The next phase covers opening venues like nightclubs and bars. The governor has no plans to start this phase until a vaccine is found. This could be next year or later.