Lines of people wrap around building ahead of Southland Casino reopening

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, Ark. reopened Monday with long lines of people wrapped around the building excited to get back inside.

The reopening comes with new health and safety protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The health standards, under a program called Play it Safe, encompass Southland’s new operating procedures, according to a press release.

Casinos in Arkansas are back open. Shelia O’Connor FOX13 Memphis is at Southland Casino in West Memphis. ---------------- WHAT'S DIFFERENT AT THE CASINO:

Posted by FOX13 Memphis on Monday, May 18, 2020

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The program includes bolstered hygiene protocols to meet or exceed best-practice guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The casino will undergo rigorous, ongoing cleaning and sterilization, and will close nightly for a deep-cleaning of all public areas.

“The health and safety of guests and employees are above everything,” said David Wolf, President and general manager of Southland Casino Racing. “Throughout our temporary closure and during the development of the Play It Safe program, we have been working closely with state and local government officials and public health officers to ensure we are taking appropriate safety precautions.”

From the press release:

Key elements of the Play it Safe program include:

• Guests are asked to adhere to social distancing protocols while waiting to enter.

• All incoming guests will be added to a guest registry and their identity will be stored as a record of their visit.

• All guests will be required to wear a mask or other face-covering during their visit.

• Temperature screening of guests takes place upon entering the facility.

• An on-site Clean Team has been created, and its members are equipped with Ecolab® multi-surface cleaner and disinfectant to conduct ongoing sanitization of all surfaces. They will help to protect guests by dispensing hand sanitizer and spot cleaning slot machines and other surfaces on request.

• Social distancing protocols are in place throughout the facility.

• Touchless service and payment options are now available at food and beverage outlets.

• Hand-sanitizing stations have been added at the entrance and throughout the facility.

• Air exchange settings have been bolstered to optimize air quality within the facility.

• Some service offerings may be limited or unavailable to help maintain safe social distancing and health and safety guidelines.

• No smoking will be permitted within the facility, and designated smoking areas will be established and maintained outside of the building.

Casino employees are required to adhere to rigorous sanitization and hygiene protocols, according to the press release.

Employees will receive a health check, which includes a temperature screen, when they report to work.

Employees are required to wear masks while on duty.

The casino will reopen at one-third capacity and feature a reduced number of slots.

No table games, live racing or sports betting will be available, according to the press release.

The Lucky North players club will have limited hours, and food and beverage options will also be limited.

The World Market Buffet is closed.

The casino will be open 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.