New Live! Casino pandemic plans: plexiglass slot dividers, sanitized chips, plastic forks

Live Casino Hotel in Hanover, Md.
Maryland’s Live! Casino & Hotel in Anne Arundel Mills plans to adapt to the coronavirus crisis. (Courtesy Live! Casino & Hotel/Cordish Companies)

Maryland casinos have been closed since mid-March, but all six are formulating their reopening plans, and Live! Casino & Hotel has released some details of how it plans to reopen.

Live! will initially limit casino capacity to 25% to 50%, disable some slot machines and place plexiglass barriers between others, as well as frequently sanitize everything from chairs to poker chips.

Its restaurants will also use single-use menus, utensils and plates, and give hand sanitizer to restaurant guests as soon as they are seated.

All employees, as well as all guests, will be subject to temperature screening, and anyone with a temperature above 100.4 degrees will not be allowed on the property.

Earlier this month, MGM National Harbor announced similar reopening plans.

Casino closures have cut off a revenue stream for the state of Maryland, which gets a cut of gaming revenue for various state programs, including its Education Trust Fund.

The state has collected no casino revenue at all for the month of April, compared to $60.2 million in April 2019, and will not collect any for the month of May either.

For the first 10 months of the 2020 fiscal year that ends in July, Maryland’s six casinos have generated $1.245 billion in gaming revenue, down 15% from the same period during fiscal 2019.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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