Wisconsin Tribal Gaming Operators Utilizing Ultra-Violet Light Systems to Stop Covid-19

Back in March, it seemed the entire world was turned upside down. As the coronavirus spread throughout the US and around the globe, businesses were shut down and people stuck in their homes afraid to do anything for fear of catching the deadly disease. Over the past few weeks, businesses in the US have started to reopen and are installing certain cleaning requirements or utilizing new technology to create a healthy and safe environment for employees and guests. For casinos in Wisconsin, some have implemented ultra-violet light systems as a way to thwart the virus.

Light Technology

We all know that hand sanitizer and mask wearing helps to slow the spread of the virus. Most casinos are utilizing these components and regular cleaning to try and kill any remnants of the virus, be it from droplets spread from the mouth or on surfaces.  Another measure that is being taken by tribal casinos in the state of Wisconsin is light technology.

Ultra-violet light systems are currently installed in ventilation ducts to neutralize Covid-19. The Sokagon Chippewa Community has installed the tech at its Mole Lake casino in Crandon. The tribe used a system created by UltraViolet Devices, Inc. located in California.

Mole Lake Casino Assistant General Manager Johnny L. Phillips Jr. commented on the installation, stating that tribal leadership is committed to using enhanced measures for the safety and well-being of employees and guests as they get back to work.

The ultra-violet light is one component that the tribe is using. They have also upgraded several facilities on-site including creating touch-less restrooms.

What is UV Light Systems?

The tribe is using UV-C germicidal lamps in the duct work of the facility’s HVAC system. The air moves through the duct work and passes the UV-C light. This light then kills over 99% of the virus on contact. The air is then recirculated to the casino and provides clean air. Without this light, the system would be recirculating air that contains the virus which could increase the number of positive cases.

The Forest County Potawatomi have been working with UV systems for quite some time. They installed systems several years ago to help remove odor caused by cigarette smoking. They knew at the time that the system was also good for eliminating viruses. The air in the facility is being filtered basically the same as a surgical suite, which provides better protection from Covid.

The UV tech is an interesting concept and one that may become common place if the Covid-19 pandemic continues, particularly in the United States. Mask-wearing is mandatory in some areas and considered a good tool for lowering the spread. However, politicization of mask wearing has led to many people not wanting to wear them at all.

If the virus does not slack off and there is no immunization option in the near future, more businesses may opt for this type of installation to be able to remain open and create a safe environment for their staff members as well as employees.


Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.