Boyd Gaming has today (June 11) announced plans to reopen 3 casinos in Indiana and Ohio, bringing its total number of properties back in operation to 24 out of 29 across the US.
On Monday June 15, the company plans to resume operations at its two properties in Indiana; Blue Chip Casino Hotel and Spa in Michigan City, and Belterra Casino Resort in Florence.
On Friday, June 19, it then plans to reopen Belterra Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Casinos in Indiana were ordered to close due to the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic from March 16.
The state is now relaxing quarantine laws, working within Governor Holcomb’s Roadmap to Safely Reopen Indiana. In line with this plan, casinos in the state will be permitted to reopen from 6am on June 15.
Belterra Park Cincinnati closed its doors on March 13, in response to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s order banning gatherings of over 100 people. The property saw live racing resume on June 4, although spectators are still not permitted.
Last week, it was announced that casinos in Ohio would be allowed to reopen from June 19, under strict social distancing guidelines. Maximum capacity will be set at 50% of pre-pandemic levels, while employees will be instructed to maintain six feet of distance from others at all times.
“Protecting the health and safety of our guests, team members and the community will be our top priority as we get ready to reopen Belterra Park Cincinnati,” said Chris Corrado, the property’s vice president and general manager.
“To maintain a safe environment, we will implement ‘Boyd Clean,’ a set of comprehensive health and safety protocols that fully meet the most stringent standards set forth by federal, state and local health officials. We are excited to reopen and look forward to welcoming back our customers on June 19.”
The company’s list of protocols includes mandatory face masks, temperature checks and additional training for employees, alongside enhanced cleaning and sanitation, capacity restrictions and social distancing measures.
Some amenities will also remain closed when the properties reopen – with poker tables and live events still prohibited, for example.
Indiana’s gaming market is once again on the rise after a turbulent period. After the state’s sports betting revenues were halved by the Covid-19 pandemic in March, last month saw a return to growth for sportsbooks.
Ohio, meanwhile, is seeing progress towards legalized sports betting. On May 28, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 194, which would legalize both retail and mobile sports wagering in the state. The bill has passed to the state senate for approval, and the governor’s press secretary indicated that he wants sports betting legislation passed before the November elections.
Commenting on the plans to resume business, Boyd president and chief executive Keith Smith said: “We are encouraged by early guest volumes at our newly reopened properties across the country and are optimistic we will see similar results as we return to business at Blue Chip, Belterra Resort and Belterra Park.”