Miami-Dade Mayor Gives Green Light for Casinos To Reopen on August 31

  • Casino reopenings come along with the easing of restrictions at restaurants
  • All casino patrons have to wear a mask and no food or drink is permitted at slots or table games
  • Casinos can only reopen at 50% capacity
  • The decision to reopen was made after the two-week average test positivity rate fell under 10%
Miami skyline
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giminez announced that local casinos may reopen starting August 31, but are limited to 50% capacity. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Back to business

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is allowing local casinos to reopen starting Monday, August 31 after being closed for the past eight weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision comes as part of the easing of restrictions on entertainment venues, with restaurants once again able to offer indoor dining. 

The details of the new order were publicized through a press release from the mayor’s office. No food or drinks will be allowed at gaming tables or slot machines and all casino patrons will have to wear masks. 

casinos can only operate at 50% capacity

The casinos can only operate at 50% capacity for the moment, similar to restaurants. There are other health and safety protocols that need to be followed by the casinos, such as conducting enhanced cleaning and social distancing controls. 

Suppressing the virus

County officials are trying to keep COVID-19 cases to a minimum as much as possible. At certain stages, Miami-Dade County has had the most positive COVID-19 cases and deaths out of all of the counties in Florida.

The two-week average of positive virus tests was 9.3% when recorded last week; the county deems anything below 10% to be acceptable. The seven-day positivity rate was even lower at 8.2%.

While restaurants and casinos are seeing an easing of restrictions, establishments that have to remain shut in the county include convention spaces, concert houses, and other indoor entertainment facilities.

Latest restrictions rollback

Since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, this is the second time there has been a significant easing of restrictions in the area. Thousands of businesses were able to reopen in May and June in an initial easing of mitigation measures. 

casinos had to close just a few weeks after reopening

Casinos were given the green light in June to restart their operations, as cases of COVID-19 were dropping at the time. There was another wave of positive cases, however, leading to the mayor reintroducing restrictions on July 3, meaning that the casinos had to close just a few weeks after reopening. 

COVID-19 cases began to peak in Miami-Dade County in the middle of July and have been dropping since.

Closure/reopening orders do not apply to tribal casinos, as they are on sovereign land and do not have to adhere to orders from county or state officials.