Some Maryland casinos, including the Live Casino and Hotel in Hanover, opened their doors Friday following Gov. Larry Hogan's decision earlier this month to allow them to return at half capacity. On Friday, Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young also announced he would allow the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore to reopen at half capacity. The Caesars’ property is scheduled to open June 28.
Inside the casino on Thursday, Horseshoe Baltimore General Manager Randy Conroy pointed out a number of changes put in places for guests and employees. Staff stationed at the entrance will count the number of guests entering the building to ensure that no more than 3,400 people — half the casino's 6,800-person occupancy — are inside at once.
"All customers coming through the entrances will be required to go through a temperature scan," he said, as reported by WBFF. "Every guest must wear a mask and that will be a requirement when they're inside the building." On the floor every other slot machine is turned off to ensure social distancing and similar measures are in place for table games, so only about half of the casino's 2,100 slot machines will be available to play.
The casino looked to other Caesars Entertainment properties for guidance as it shaped its own rules for staff and customers, he said. "Typically a blackjack game may have six positions, we're going to have three. A typical craps game may have twelve and we'll have six," he said. The poker room will not open right away.
There's also sanitizer everywhere which guests will be required to use before taking their seat at any table. Conroy said slot machines and cards will be cleaned every four hours. "Gaming chips typically we might clean them once a year, but we're going to clean and disinfect them everyday. Anytime a person touches the dice at a craps game someone will disinfect the dice before a person shoots them," he said.
The restaurants and bars will also open at limited capacity.
Conroy predicted the casino will see more than half its usual business, even operating at half capacity, due to pent-up demand. Horseshoe plans to bring back 60% of its workforce for the initial reopening, and then continue to add to staffing levels as needed. He said about 700 of the 1,300 staff members will return once they reopen.
Because more than 1,200 of Horseshoe's workers have been on furlough since the casino shut down in mid-March, Conroy said he would need four to six days to retrain staff and prepare them for the return once the city decides it's safe to reopen.