SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – If you’re feeling lucky, the last of Shreveport-Bossier’s major casinos is back in business.
After the coronavirus dealt a bad hand to our local economy, people are ready to play. Hundreds made their way to Sam’s Town Wednesday to experience the newly reopened facility, and managers said they were not taking any chances on the public’s health.
“We’ve created an experience where you can be safe, but you can also have fun, and that was really our priority here,” said Ronald Bailey, Sam’s Town Vice President/General Manager.
You’ll notice the difference as soon as you walk in.
“We have thermal technology throughout the property that we’re using to ensure that everyone is under temperature,” he said.
Employees are required to wear masks and masks are offered to the public. Extra sanitizing stations are in place and additional cleaning is helping wipe out germs.
“We’re invested into this community,” said Bailey. “We’re invested into our customers and our team members, so we wanted to make sure we did this the right way.”
Casinos are the major tourist draw for the area and those visitors bring cash to spend throughout the entire community.
“They paid more than $97 million in taxes in 2018,” said Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau President Stacy Brown. “So, those tax dollars are ones that we as locals don’t have to pay.”
And, while table games are closed and the roulette wheels aren’t spinning, slot machines are still giving players a chance at winning.
“Within five minutes of us being open a jackpot hit,” said Bailey.
Signs are marking machines designated out-of-service to help with social distancing.
“My favorite machine was up and running, so that’s fine,” said Sherry Eason. “I feel welcome and I feel at home here because this is my favorite place to play.”
“We’ve seen everybody being very safe and everything looks clean and I feel comfortable,” said Julie Vega.
After spending more than two months closed due to coronavirus closures, everyone at Sam’s Town is excited to finally get back in the game.
“We’ve really been looking forward to this,” said Bailey. “To see the faces of our team members, to see the faces of our customers that are coming in. It’s like your family is coming back.”
At this time, the casino is open at 25 percent capacity, which is a maximum of about 400 people.