Slot machines will be ringing again as the Hollywood Casino Columbus reopens Friday.
At the beginning of the month, Gov. Mike DeWine announed that casinos, racinos, amusement paks and water parks could reopen on June 19.
In preparation, Hollywood Casino leaning crews have been busy sanitizing machines and game tables for guests.
“We’re really going above and beyond to make sure that when they come here, they feel safe, they feel clean, they want to have fun and it’s a little sense of what they left behind in March to bring back to them,” says Jennifer Miglionico, the casino's vice president of marketing.
Miglionico says that Hollywood Casino's 160,000 square foot facility will only allow in 50% of the maximum number of people permitted by city code. Signs are posted throughout the casino to reinforce social distancing, and markers remind players where to stand.
“We’ve done a lot on our floor already, as well as providing a lot of disinfecting stations,” Miglionico says. “So as guests are moving from game to game, or just cruising and going through our food and beverage areas, they can stop and be able to get a wipe or hand disinfectant to continue to disinfect and feel sanitized throughout their entire visit.”
Miglionico says slot machines have been repositioned to separate players. At game tables, she says the aim is to reduce the number of people and their interaction with casino game items.
“We have reduced the number of positions based on game types, as well as the different types of games may have reduced the amount of contact that you might have, whether it be the cards, the dice, the chips, various areas within those types of games,’ says Miglionico.
When Ohio's stay-at-home order went into effect in March, revenues at Hollywood Casino Columbus dropped to $8.4 million, less than half the revenues of the month before. Statewide casino revenues plunged to $30.9 million in March, down from $75.8 million in February.
Miglionico says Hollywood Casino furloughed about 900 employees in mid-March when the state closed businesses. Those workers will be phased back in to work at the casino.
“Businesses in general have unfortunately not been able to have everyone employed,” Miglionico says. “We’re feeling it just like any other business. So, us being able to reopen on Friday is a huge win for us, not only as a business, but also as an employer, a major employer here in the state.”