Soon visitors to Tunica, MS will have multiple options when it comes to casinos. MGM Resorts recently announced it will be reopening Gold Strike Tunica next week.
Gold Strike will reopen the casino on Monday, May 25, just a couple of days after Sam’s Town will open its doors. Things won’t be totally back to normal, obviously. There will be new mandates, of course, both from MGM and local governments.
Gold Strike Tunica reopening on May 25
MGM plans to do a soft-opening to an invitation-only crowd this weekend to acclimate staff to new procedures. MGM has a seven-point plan for reopening its casinos nationwide.
Beau Rivage in Biloxi will be part of MGM’s ramping back up as well. However, MGM doesn’t plan to reopen that casino until Monday, June 1.
Among the details of MGM’s plan to maximize safety for employees and guests are:
- Requiring employees to submit to screenings like temperature checks as well as wear masks
- Requiring guests to wear masks when “in some settings where physical distancing is more difficult and/or barriers do not exist”
- Rearranging slot machines and tables to provide space
- Limiting beverage and food options
The state government set restrictions on the properties as well. For the time being, casinos in the state can only operate at 50% of their normal capacity. In other parts of the state, MS requires casino guests to wear masks at all times.
Gold Strike will only require guests to wear masks when in physical proximity to each other or staff without a barrier. Examples of these instances include in elevators and when receiving salon services.
For casino employees and MGM, a limited relaunch is a welcome change. The latest research shows that the financial cost of the COVID-19 pandemic in MS has been serious.
Balancing economic interests with safety concerns in MS
According to the MS Economic Council, 88% of businesses in the state report a negative impact on their businesses from coronavirus. Some respondents to the survey report a revenue decline of as much as 60%.
Some MS businesses have seen less or no revenue for the better part of two months. The Gold Strike is among them. MGM reported “substantial losses” nationwide on its last earnings call.
For casino workers, the opportunity to return to work comes with a caveat. In doing so, they heighten the risk of exposure for not only themselves but their families as well. MGM understands the situation.
“As we plan to reopen our resorts, the health and safety of our guests and employees guide all of our decision-making,” said MGM Resorts’ acting CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle.
While MGM is doing all it can to facilitate that, it partially depends on the compliance of casino guests. The more seriously visitors adhere to the Gold Strike safety precautions, the more effective they will be for everyone.