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Massachusetts Gaming Commission In Talks Over 'Safe and Sustainable Reopening' Of Casinos

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, April 23, 2020 (State House News Service) -- Massachusetts gaming regulators are looking to Macau, China, for insights into what a safe and effective reopening of casinos here might take.

Massachusetts casinos have been closed since March 15 and will remain shuttered until at least May 4. During Thursday's Gaming Commission meeting, Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said there is no concrete timeline for reopening but the commission is beginning to think about it.

"We are fully engaged with our licensees in preparation for a new normal and the myriad of considerations for a safe and sustainable reopening," she said. "What we do know for sure is it won't be as simple as unlocking the doors and switching the lights back on."

She said it is helpful that two of the three gambling operators in the state, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts, shut down and then reopened their casinos in Macau. Interim Executive Director Karen Wells said the commission has a team that will meet Friday to look at lessons learned from Macau.

Judd-Stein also said the commission has drawn insights from a document Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox prepared for properties elsewhere, detailing proposed policies around disinfecting surfaces, protective gear for employees and guests, and limiting casino capacity.

"Whatever the plans are, they will require robust public education campaigns for customers and employees," Judd-Stein said. "Right now though, the focus remains on staying home to stop the spread and flatten the curve. But as we think about looking towards the next phase, whatever that may be, there will be no shortage of logistics to consider."

(© Copyright 2020 State House News Service)

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