MIAMI – With territorial sovereignty, even if the government ordered the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood to close, management would not have to.
Casino spokesman Gary Bitner said poker rooms close at 7 p.m. Tuesday, shows and rallies have been postponed, some slots have been turned off to create space between players and the number of players to all table games are limited.
“Team members can stay home and use paid time off, even if they have no paid time off balance,” Bitner wrote in a statement.
Public health officials say these measures are not enough. Most casinos in South Florida are ignoring Monday’s new federal public health directive that warns that to help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, casinos must close.
The Calder Casino in Miami Gardens and the Gulfstream Park Casino in Hallandale Beach are exceptions. The Calder Casino is closed for two weeks and Gulfstream will close at 10 p.m. Monday.
The Associated Press
Gamers and vacationers who had planned to visit U.S. casinos expressed a mixture of disappointment and relief at a wave of closures in at least 15 states as officials worked to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some said they still plan to visit the casinos.
Many casinos, where hundreds or even thousands of people touch the same slot machines and gambling chips, remain open. Casinos that remain open say they are stepping up their cleaning and sanitizing efforts.
Sherry Giordano, a regular at the Atlantic City casino in Willow Grove, Pa., Has booked a trip for this weekend which will be canceled. But she would have been reluctant to go even if the casinos had been opened, due to her husband’s health history which could make him more susceptible to the virus.
“I’m less concerned with my own safety, and I think a lot of people tend to think of it that way, which is both stupid and selfish as we can put others at risk,” she said. . “I don’t just like the game, I like meeting people and getting away from it all.
“Atlantic City is very important to me and my husband,” she said. “But I think it’s the right thing to do. I would rather err (on the side of) caution than put my life in danger.”
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, it can cause more serious illnesses, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Troy Wildasin, a casino boss from Emmaus, Pa., Said that even at the best of times, the health of the casinos left a lot to be desired.
“Not only would this help reduce the virus outbreak, but it will also give the opportunity to give casinos a new clean,” he said. “There isn’t a clean casino in any city. Hard to do properly when they are open 24/7.
Michael Magbaleta, of Jersey City, New Jersey, frequents casinos in Atlantic City, Las Vegas and Pennsylvania, but has said he will not be going in the near future.
“I would feel a little anxious and paranoid to take a trip to the casino now,” he said. . I am happy that they are taking extreme measures to protect employees and the public.
Sherry Cannon of Toledo, Ohio, cancels a trip to Las Vegas scheduled for mid-May.
“I’m not comfortable going to just any casino anywhere in the world right now,” she said. “It makes me sad, but I would prefer my 80 year old mother and I to stay alive and not pass anything on to anyone else. I’m glad the Toledo casino closed, and I’m glad the ones in Detroit closed because if they hadn’t, my mom would try to get me to go!
Don Battista from Austin, Texas was scheduled to fly to Laughlin, Nevada this week, but has since considered it.
“Our group decided when we are not old and all in good health, that it would be irresponsible to possibly spread to someone in this danger zone,” he said.
Shelly Bittner plans to leave Breezewood, Pennsylvania in early April to visit Las Vegas, virus or not.
“We still plan to go there unless they stop the planes from flying,” she said. “Just use your common sense. Wash your hands and use disinfectant.
The closures could be a boon to casinos in states where internet gambling is legal, including New Jersey, where online gambling revenues have been skyrocketing for years.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy ordered the nine Atlantic City casinos to close at 8 p.m. on Monday, after days of allowing them to remain open. The governors of New York and Connecticut have done the same, also including bars, restaurants and cinemas.
On Monday, casino closures were also implemented or announced in Maryland, Nevada, Michigan, New Mexico, California, Alabama, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Indiana, Ohio , Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York.
In Canada, Ontario casinos closed at 4 a.m. Monday after authorities ordered them to close.
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