Choctaw Nation releases casino safety guidelines

Staff file photo

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Casino released guidelines that will be followed during the reopening of casinos owned by the tribe.

Earlier this month, the tribe announced June 1 as a tentative date for reopening of casinos.

All Choctaw Casinos in Durant, Grant, Pocola, McAlester, Broken Bow, Idabel and Stringtown, along with all Choctaw Casino Toos, were closed March 17 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The reopening of the casinos are part of the tribe’s phased approach to reopen that will be guided by two key health indicators — hospital bed utilization and intensive care unit bed utilization by COVID-19 patients as a percentage of total bed capacity for Oklahoma and key markets in Texas and Arkansas.

“Our priority of health and safety first, everything else second, has guided our actions and decisions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and now also serves as the focal point of our recovery vision within the Choctaw Nation,” Chief Gary Batton said in a press release announcing the guidelines. “We are putting all of the recommended safety measures in place to ensure that our casinos and businesses are ready for our guests when we open in the coming weeks. We are taking every precaution necessary to keep everyone safe.”

The following is an overview of guidelines that will be followed at tribal casino properties.

Masks will be readily available for guests but will not be a requirement to enter casino properties. Guests may be asked to lower their face masks for identification purposes. Out of abundance of caution and the recommendation from local and federal health authorities, all associates will be required to wear a face mask.

Occupancy levels will be limited to protect the safety of associates and guests. If occupancy limits are reached, guests may be asked to wait outside the building until there is an opportunity to enter. If entrances are restricted, proper signage will be posted.

Casino Too locations will prohibit smoking at all locations effective June 1.

Restaurant tables, slot machines and other social layouts will be arranged to ensure appropriate distancing.

Gaming positions will be reduced where necessary to promote guest and associate safety.

Table games/poker chair counts at tables will decrease for physical separation between guests, and tables in use will be staggered.

Approximately every other bar stool will be removed from use in all bars.

Self-service kiosks will be implemented at quick-serve venues where possible.

Guests who use a self-service drink stations will be asked to use a new cup each time.

The frequency of cleaning and sanitizing will be increased in all public spaces with an emphasis on frequent contact surfaces including check-in desks, bell desks, elevators, door handles, public restrooms, room keys, locks, ATMs, escalator handrails, casino cage counters, slot machines, table games, dining surfaces, kiosks and seating areas.

Hand sanitizer stations will be readily available in high traffic areas throughout our facilities.

Associates are required to complete health attestations before they report to work each day.

Associates who exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 while on property are asked to notify their manager, asked to leave immediately and seek medical treatment.

For a full list of guidelines, visit www.choctawcasinos.com/safety/

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