MGHA’s Gregory is ready for casinos to reopen

With casinos in Mississippi set to open this Thursday, Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association (MGHA) Larry Gregory recently joined The JT Show to talk about what casinos are doing in preparation and how this weekend is a perfect time to reopen.

“This is a big day not only for our industry but for the state,” Gregory said. “The good thing about opening this time of year is Memorial Day. We have several peak periods in the casino industry, and Memorial Day is certainly one of those days or weekends.”

All casinos that decide to reopen will be following the guidelines set forth by both Governor Tate Reeves and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Gregory.

“The casinos, the way they used to look like, are not going to be the same,” Gregory said. “You walk through, there is going to be plenty of signage to make sure you are adhering to the CDC guidelines. All the guests will adhere by checklists up on the wall, and all of our employees will have masks.”

On top of that, slot machines will be placed six feet apart and table capacity will be deducted by at least half. Sanitized wipes will also be provided to all players.

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The hotel and restaurant portions will be open for business—including buffets.

“Our restaurants will be open, just like the public, up until 10 o’clock at night, and the hotels will be open,” Gregory said. “Come Thursday, we are going to have everything open…including the buffets.”

Casinos have been closed since March 16, forcing about a $36 million loss in state revenue. Gregory knows it is going to be a slow process to get the industry back to where it was prior to COVID-19, however, he thinks reopening is nevertheless the best option.

“It’s going to take a while to rebound,” Gregory said. “The best thing we can do is open the doors, and the customers are going to tell us if they feel safe, comfortable, and confident to play back in our casinos.”

To watch the full interview with Gregory, click the video below.