ARLINGTON, Wash. -- The slot machines are rolling and the table games are back at the Angel of the Winds Casino Resort.
The casino reopened on Wednesday at 3 p.m., and a long line of vehicles circled the property hoping for a chance to get in.
“We had to wait an hour or two but it was worth it,” said Ivy Agee, 71, from Everett. “I’m loving it, I’m loving it. I’ve been waiting and waiting!”
The casino closed March 17 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our team got together and knew this day would come and wanted to be prepared," General Manager Travis O’Neil said.
After taking eight weeks of planning for health and safety, O’Neil said players coming to the casino need to be prepared to do the following:
- Text to be added to the virtual queue for entrance
- Present your ID
- Temperature checks
- Wear your self-provided face mask while inside
- Lower your face mask or other PPE upon entering
- Enter through the Main Casino Entrance
- Wash your hands frequently
- Practice social distancing
“We’re actually doing more than the normal retailer,” said O’Neil. “We’re doing temperature checks. We’re doing ID checks. That’s not something you see at the retailer.”
About 400 casino employees who were furloughed have been rehired. Many of the staff members are now disinfecting high-touch points and directing casino-goers to use hand sanitizer and social distance.
The casino’s capacity is 800 people, but for now the Angel of the Winds is only allowing half that amount.
“I feel safe,” said Theresa Mangini, who came all the way from Tacoma. “I do I feel comfortable knowing everyone’s wearing masks. We do have a little distance between us as well.”
The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians owns the casino, which means the casino does not need to adhere to state laws.
O’Neil said the tribe is in touch with the state officials. The Stillaguamish Tribe thought with the preparations in place, it was safe to reopen.
“We do want to open safely, but we do want limitations to this so it does not get out of control or people take this for granted,” said O’Neil.
A spokesperson for the casino said safety and health is their priority. The casino is now a smoke-free property and they are looking to get Covid-19 antibody testing for the entire staff.