Beverly Milenski is finding success right off the bat at the slot machines. She’s one of the first customers to be welcomed back at Rivers Casino and Resort in nearly six months.
“With all of this horrific stuff happening, this is like a tension reliever,” said Milenski, who came here from Dalton, Mass.
The Schenectady casino reopened Wednesday with temperature checks at the door, six foot markers on the ground, plexiglass at slot machines and table games, and red and green sanitation indicators.
“It tells my staff it needs to be clean,” said Justin Moore, Rivers Casino & Resort vice president and general manager. “They’ll come by, wipe it down, they’ll card it to reset it, it’ll go back to green, and now you know you can play a clean machine.”
He says they’re operating at 25 percent capacity, which is a thousand people. That figure includes employees. Moore says once it gets close to that limit, customers will have to wait for others to leave before they can enter.
“It might take a little longer for guest to get in opening weekend so give yourselves a little extra time,” Moore said.
While slot machines are good to go, table games are not ready yet. Moore says they’re still working on plans that meet state guidelines, but expects to have blackjack, roulette, and poker available soon.
Over at the sportsbook, that is open for bets. It’s just in time with several professional sports happening right now, and a new NFL season kicking off this week.
“It’s never happen where you have it all at once like in the same timeline,” said sportsbook manager Hal Wafer.
He says the counters and kiosks will be cleaned after each visitor. There aren’t many tables in this area, so Wafer is hoping people will place their bets and head home to catch the action.
“I think the people are hungry for it and we just expect great big crowds. Love to have the people back, can’t wait, and it’ll be a lot of great excitement,” Wafer said.
Mask requirements and social distancing will be enforced. The casino has also installed an enhanced air filtration system.
The new daily hours of operation will be from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Downtime will be used for intensive property-wide deep cleaning in addition to the continuous sanitizing which will take place throughout each day.