MGM Resorts to reopen its two Mississippi casinos starting next week Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · May 19, 2020 at 3:15 pm MGM Resorts International said it will space out the reopening of its two Mississippi hotel-casinos, saying Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica will open on Monday while Beau Rivage in Biloxi will return on June 1. Both resorts will have limited customer capacity and each property will host an invitation-only weekend ahead of its public reopening. Mississippi gaming regulators are allowing the state’s casinos to reopen Thursday after being closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The two properties will be MGM’s first casinos to reopen. The company saw more than two dozen gaming and non-gaming properties close in eight states in an effort to slow the spread of the pandemic. “Our hearts are with everyone in our communities, and around the world, who has been personally impacted by this crisis,” MGM Resorts acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle said in a statement Tuesday. “As we plan to reopen our resorts, the health and safety of our guests and employees guide all of our decision-making. Getting many of our employees back to work and welcoming guests through our doors once again will allow us to do what we do best – entertain. We can’t wait.” Under guidelines established by the Mississippi Gaming Commission, a 50% capacity restriction will be enforced, table games and slot machines will be configured to allow for appropriate physical distancing, and valet parking will be temporarily discontinued. Complimentary self-parking will be available for guests. In the first phase of the reopening, MGM said property amenities will be limited at both Gold Strike and Beau Rivage. According to the American Gaming Association, Mississippi’s casino industry provides $4.4 billion annually in economic impact, supports more than 37,200 jobs that pay $1.6 billion in wages. The state’s casinos provide Mississippi $976 million in taxes and tribal revenue share payments annually. Boyd Gaming Corp. said in a statement Monday it would reopen its two Mississippi properties, IP Casino Resort in Biloxi and Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica, on Thursday. Penn National Gaming said last week it would reopen its five Mississippi casinos also in Thursday. Last week, MGM Resorts released a “Seven-Point Safety Plan” that covers operations at the casinos in the post-coronavirus environment, that include requirements for employee health screening, temperature checks, and Covid-19 specific training. Employees will be required to wear masks while guests will be strongly encouraged and provided with masks, free of charge. A physical distancing policy will be enforced in public areas, with floor guides serving as reminders throughout the properties. Plexiglass barriers will be installed, or other measures will be used to reduce risks for employees and guests. Handwashing stations that will be placed on casino floors, digital menus will be available in property restaurants and guestroom attendants will wear masks and gloves while cleaning each room and will change gloves between guestrooms. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.