CDC Releases Casino Reopening Guidelines After 700+ Venues Resumed Operations

The American Gaming Association’s map tracks casino reopenings across the country at the property-level.

While the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closed all 989 commercial and Tribal casino properties in the U.S., today, 744 gaming properties have unlocked their doors and started welcoming patrons. Two-hundred and forty-five remain closed, according to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) COVID-19 Casino Tracker. 

Curiously, after more than 700 casinos nationwide had already resumed operations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its “Considerations for Casinos and Gaming Operations.”

The guiding principles offer a solid starting ground for casinos implementing safety measures and protocol — covering everything from cloth face coverings to signage and messaging. More technical considerations entail improving building ventilation and monitoring water systems. 

Tribal casino operators across the United States have recently started to reopen in droves, adhering to tight safety and hygienic measures. Several California Tribal casinos have leveraged high-tech cleaning, such as TruClean and UVC Technology — a known disinfectant for air, water, and surfaces — to take vigilance around decontamination to a higher level. 

READ MORE: SoCal Tribal Casinos Begin Reopening, Some Using Advanced Cleaning Tech 

But in Arizona, where COVID-19 rates recently spiked again, at least three Tribal casinos have locked their doors for yet another two weeks to prevent the spread of the virus. 

READ MORE: Spike in COVID-19 Cases in Arizona Leads Tribe to Suspend Casino Operations Again

The impact of casinos shuttering on Tribal economies has been massive and crippling, as Tribes were still faced with the burden of maintaining buildings and systems throughout the closures. Opening back up was the only way to earn back some direly needed and lost revenue for Tribal coffers, while providing jobs to casino employees and business to vendors likewise hurting from the coronavirus-fueled closures. 

“Those secondary impacts are huge as well because that total loss of revenue at the direct level, where it’s at the casino, flows straight through to everything else. Those end up becoming huge losses,” said Alan Meister, CEO of Meister Economic Consulting, which studies the gaming industry.