Seminole Hard Rock Updates Pandemic Safety Guidelines

Written By JR Duren on August 7, 2020 - Last Updated on August 30, 2020

As Florida surpassed New York for the second most COVID-19 cases in the country, Seminole Gaming released a new set of “Safe + Sound” guidelines for its casinos.

Seminole Gaming CEO and Chairman of Hard Rock International Jim Allen said the move is a reflection of the group’s commitment to safety.

“Seminole Gaming is committed to the health and safety of its guests and team members, and we are upgrading our comprehensive “Safe + Sound” program to further limit the threat from COVID-19. We are making sure our resorts and casinos are safe and sound, so our guests and team members have peace of mind when they return.”

The big change: Only stationary guests can lower masks

Among the various safety conflicts that casinos face is mask-wearing.

Patrons often eat and drink while playing table games and slots, making enforcement difficult. Previously, it was plausible that patrons could sit down at a slot machine after ordering a drink. Then they could take off their mask to take a sip, and then walk away unmasked.

To shore up its property’s mask rules, Seminole Gaming now prohibits guests from walking around without a mask.

“Effective immediately, all guests must be stationary when lowering their masks or face coverings for eating, drinking or smoking,” Seminole Gaming’s statement said. “The change prohibits guests from walking in all public spaces without protective face coverings.”

Other measures reinforce health and safety

Guests of Seminole casinos across the state have likely noticed pandemic safety staff patrolling the gaming floors.

The new guidelines will expand these teams, presumably to enforce the casinos’ “no mask, no entry” policy.

Along with expanding enforcement teams, Seminole Gaming decided to close PLA, an interactive sports gaming lounge at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

The tenant was not adhering to safety guidelines, the gaming group said.

Safe + Sound, at a glance

Seminole Gaming closed its casinos in March after a wave of professional sports leagues shut down and casinos in several states closed their doors.

Seminole casinos reopened in May with a strict set of guidelines covering employee and guest safety, cleaning procedures, and a 50% reduction in guest capacity.

Specific guidelines include:

  • Temperature checks of all guests before entering the property.
  • Every other slot machine is off.
  • Plexiglas barriers at table games and customer service counters.
  • Special cleaning teams.
  • Hand-sanitizing stations.
  • Valets change gloves after operating a vehicle.
  • Poolside chairs and cabanas sanitized after each use.
  • Additional sanitizing of elevator doors, handles and buttons.

Per the Safe+Sound protocol, guests entering the casino should understand that ” there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public place where other people are present,” and that “COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death.”

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JR Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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