Arkansas Casinos may resume operations on May 18 with limited players

Arkansas Casinos may resume operations on May 18 with limited players

Gaming regulators in Arkansas have confirmed that they are moving ahead with casino reopening plans and the gaming facilities in the state could resume operations as soon as 18th of May this year.

In a newly released statement, the office of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has stated that authorities are mulling plans to reopen casinos and any such decision will be based on health data.

Owners of Hot Springs’ Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, Pine Bluff’s Saracen Casino Annex and West Memphis’ Southland Casino Racing are eager to recommence their gaming operations. The government is also planning to bring businesses back into activity but with strict precautions and safeguards in place.

Businesses were closed after the outburst of corona virus earlier this year. Governor Hutchinson admitted that the outbreak of COVID-19 affected every industry sector in the state.

The governor recently underlined, “The pandemic continues to have a statewide impact on grocery stores, small businesses, pharmacies, hospitals, and restaurants to name a few. It’s important that we continue to adequately support and protect our industries and people until the threat is no longer imminent.”

A few weeks back, Arkansas Department of Health had expressed deep concerns about the reopening of casinos, saying place like casinos would be particularly at high-risk as a lot of people could be touching one another.

Expressing his concern, state health department secretary Nate Smith had said, “They are indoors, with a lot of people in a small amount of space. Often times, people with significant risk factors….And you’ve got a lot of people touching stuff, so if you wanted to design a setting to optimize the spread of COVID-19, it would look a lot like a casino.”

Many other states in the US, including Massachusetts are reviewing plans to reopen commercial casinos as part of their plans to provide a much-needed boost to businesses after corona virus-induced lockdown.

However, any casino planning to resume operations will have to strictly follow guidelines and safeguards issued by the state’s health department. The long list of safeguards, which is expected to be released by the state health department by this weekend, will most like include workers as well as guests getting their temperatures checked, covering their nose and mouth with masks, and maintain social distancing by keeping a proper distance from others.