Same games, new rules for West Virginia casino due to coronavirus

As Maryland casinos get ready to reopen next Friday, casinos in West Virginia have been up and running almost a week now.

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town has been drawing crowds from all over the DMV and beyond.

“Anecdotally, we’ve had quite a few people from Ohio,” said general manager Scott Saunders. “Seeing a lot of Maryland people, a lot of Virginia people, Pennsylvania.”

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Like so many businesses, the casino industry is having to make major adjustments to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Hollywood Casino can only have half capacity which is 5,000 people, but with limited gaming, Saunders said the number is closer to 1,000.

There are temperature checks at the door. Masks are encouraged, but not required inside. Employees must wear them and so do people playing table games. There are only three seats at table games and there can be long wait times. Minimums are higher than usual and were set at $25 Thursday afternoon.

Saunders said chips are being sanitized and cards changed out more frequently.

“We have separated our slots to create more space in between them,” he said. “We have physically moved some, we have turned some off.”

There are dividers on the craps table, lots of hand sanitizer and the casino closes overnight for cleaning.

”We have a mister sprayer overnight that we take all over the property,” Saunders said. “People walking the floor wiping down the touch points.”

Patrons we spoke to were satisfied with precautions and glad to be back.

”Now that things are getting opened up, I really appreciate the fact that we can get back in here,” said a man from Virginia.

“My first time back. Celebrating my birthday this week, so I thought I’d come on up,” said a woman from Maryland. “Everybody’s social distancing, they have it set up very nicely.”