PA Casino May Offer Gambling by Appointment
The Wind Creek Bethlehem casino hotel (l.) in Pennsylvania has revealed plans for a phased reopening of the property that would include gambling by appointment as a measure to control gathering sizes.
Pennsylvania’s Wind Creek Bethlehem casino hotel, which has been closed since March 15 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has revealed details of a phased plan to reopen the facility, although the exact reopening date has not been determined.
The plan includes distancing precautions such as limiting the number of guests, limiting players and times on the golf course, and constant sanitation procedures. Wind Creek Hospitality President and CEO Jay Dorris announced the phased plan in a message posted to the casino’s website last week. The message described a phased reopening, beginning with a “soft reopening” for small groups of invited guests, who will test the new safety procedures. Employees will use personal protective equipment.
One way the casino will limit the gatherings of people in the casino will be to offer gambling by appointment.
“This system will allow guests to ‘reserve’ a day and time in advance and will allow us to always keep the number of guests and team members on property and on the casino floor at a safe number,” Dorris said in the message.
“I assure you, it will be the very first moment that we can provide guests and team members a fun and exciting experience without taking irresponsible public health risks,” Dorris said. “Our team is working through many solutions and our plans are coming into focus.
“We will also be making changes to self-service areas of food service, limiting the number of guests in retail outlets, limiting some services in our spas and fitness facilities, and making some changes in our hotels, valet parking, pools, bell service, and other entertainment venues.”
Dorris said the reopening procedures will be a work in progress. “When we reopen, our goal is to have a plan that will provide a smart and measured approach. It probably won’t be perfect, and it will evolve once put into practice,” Dorris said, according to the Allentown Morning Call.
“But just as we erred on the side of caution for the health of our guests and team members when we chose to close before government shutdowns went in place, we will use our own best judgment on when to reopen in order to protect the well-being of our team members, guests and surrounding communities.”
When Wind Creek does reopen, officials plan to be well on the way to offering sports betting. The operator filed a petition to conduct sports wagering with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board last week. The five-page petition doesn’t provide many specifics, as Wind Creek requested that its financial projections, hiring plan and other details be protected as confidential information.
Wind Creek officials have said previously they hope to have sports betting in place by the start of the NFL season in September.