DETROIT (FOX 2) - For nearly five months, the normally-packed Motor City Casino has sat empty because of COVID-19. Now employees are getting tested and precautions are in place as the casino gets ready to welcome patrons back on Wednesday, August 5.
"People are excited, clearly excited. The worst thing to not do is operate," Bruce Dall, the president of Motor City Casino, told FOX 2 on Monday.
You'll see several changes at the casino. For starters, capacity is limited to just 15%. Temperature checks are also set up outside as you arrive.
Inside you'll find plexiglass at tables with dealers, one-way walkways and social distancing at gambling machines. The casino also updated their cleaning protocols.
"We've researched every chemical that we could think of. We have a backpack sprayer that will sanitize it once a day. There's over 200 hand sanitizing stations; I could go on and on," Dall said.
The door handles are also covered with a NanoSeptic film that kills viruses and bacteria that's good for 90 days.
"We have 160,00 square feet so we'll be allowed to allow 1,600 people in. We suggest if they can, come in earlier in the day," Dall said.
The coronavirus shut down casinos in Detroit hard. Revenues fell by nearly 50% and thousands of employees were laid off.
According to a new report released by the American Gaming Association, in Michigan more than $114 million in gaming tax revenue was lost. That includes more than $46 million for K-12 schools and nearly $68 million for the City of Detroit.
"Well certainly with us closed we weren't making any money either, so we're in the same boat as them," Dall said. "Again, glad to get back operating. I think it's good for the city."
Even though gambling will look a little different now, Motor City Casino is eager to bring close to half their employees back and start their new normal.
"We miss you. We miss you dearly; please come back," Dall said.