MGM Resorts Announces Reopening of Mississippi Casinos

  • Tunica Gold Strike Casino Resort reopens May 25, Biloxi Beau Rivage Resort & Casino on June 1
  • Both gambling establishments have been shut down since March 16 following COVID-19 outbreak
  • Facilities can reopen from May 21, must abide by Mississippi Gaming Commission guidelines
  • Protocols to mitigate virus risks include operating at 50% capacity, social distancing at slots and table games 
aerial drone image of the Beau Rivage hotel and casino facility in Biloxi, Mississippi
MGM Resorts will be reopening its two casinos in Mississippi in the next two weeks. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Getting back to business

MGM Resorts International has outlined its casino reopening plans for Mississippi after getting approval from the state government. Its Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica will resume operations on May 25, while the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi is set to open its doors on June 1. 

MGM Resorts shared the announcement on Twitter:

Before the public can enter these casinos, there will be an invitation-only weekend of play at both facilities. The two establishments have remained shut since March 16, following a statewide shutdown of nonessential businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Following new guidelines

As part of the reopening process, the two casinos will have to follow new Mississippi Gaming Commission protocols to help mitigate any virus risks. This includes operating at 50% capacity, with social distancing measures enforced for slot machines and table games. Casinos are able to reopen from May 21 onwards once they meet these standards.

operating at 50% capacity, with social distancing measures enforced for slot machines and table games

According to the acting CEO of MGM Resorts, Bill Hornbuckle, the company’s priority is the health and safety of its employees and guests. He said of the reopening: “Getting many of our employees back to work and welcoming guests through our doors once again will allow us to do what we do best – entertain. We can’t wait.”

MGM’s health and safety plan

MGM released the new health and safety plan for its facilities last week. The seven-point plan will see all staff screened for the virus before returning to work. Employees will undergo regular temperature checks and coronavirus-related training. They will all have to wear masks while working.

all staff screened for the virus before returning to work

Plexiglass will be installed in areas of the casino where social distancing could be tough to implement. The facility will make use of digital room keys where possible and digital menus at restaurants. Anyone at an MGM facility exhibiting signs of sickness will be isolated and will receive appropriate medical treatment to contain a possible virus risk.

Other casinos planning to reopen

MGM’s announcement comes after Boyd Gaming released the news that it would open its two casinos in the state. Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall and the IP Casino Resort Spa are set to resume operations on May 21. The company also said it will open its facilities in Louisiana in the coming weeks. 

Caesars Entertainment also unveiled its new phased plan for reopening its casinos in Iowa, New Jersey, and Nevada, which will be dictated by the relevant tribal or state government bodies. Many casinos in Nevada – including MGM Resorts facilities – are planning to restart operations in early June, subject to the state’s phased plan for resuming non-essential businesses.

Casino companies have been hit hard as a result of these closures, with share prices tanking, dividends cut, and hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed. Some casinos have already announced that they will remain permanently closed even when restrictions are lifted.