BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — Monday was reopening day for Parx Casino in Bensalem. New hours are just part of the changes here — they opened up at 9 a.m. Monday morning and will stay open until 3 a.m. Parx will operate on a 24-hour basis Friday through Sunday.
It’s good news for many who Eyewitness News spoke with today who said they’re planning several trips back this week alone.
“Welcome back to Parx Casino. We are so happy to be open,” Parx Casino Director of Public Relations Carrie Nork Minelli said.
Once the doors opened in Bensalem, new health and safety protocols were the focal point.
All guests will be required to wear a mask and although horse racing has already resumed, spectators will not be permitted in the stands.
“The three big components of the changes going on are the wearing of the masks, the social distancing and the sanitation and cleanliness of the property,” Minelli said.
Upon entry, guests are immediately met with a thermal camera temperature scan. Disabled slot machines separate usable ones by six feet and plexiglass was also used between machines and on table games.
“There’s distancing, there are lids on cups — everybody is protected,” Troy Bader said.
A handful of restaurants inside were open at 50% capacity.
Outside, a line of hit-it-big hopefuls remained ever-present.
“It’s time to get out and have a little bit of fun,” one person said.
It’s Gabby Bonetz’s 21st birthday. She’s an essential grocery store worker so along with her parents, they don’t see a trip to the casino as an additional COVID-19 safety risk.
“I’m hoping she hits it big. That would be the perfect birthday present,” one person said.
Parx can only operate at half capacity, including their staff, but add they wanted to remain well below that to ensure a smooth and safe reopening.
The objective for guests? Catch some extra cash and nothing more.
“Oh yeah, no corona, no coronavirus,” one guest said.
Cards and chips all get the wipedown treatment too.
We did ask about smoking since you can’t do that with a mask on and it gets a little complicated. At Parx, you can’t smoke at table games, which is new.
You can at some slots but have to put your mask right back on and you can’t walk around while smoking.
CBS3’s Alexandria Hoff contributed to this report.