Apache Casino Hotel back open with new strict health guidelines

Apache Casino Hotel back open with new strict health guidelines

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Slot machines, black jack, and craps are ready for gamblers as the Apache Casino and Hotel held a “soft” re-opening Thursday.

Now, all guests and staff are required to wear a mask, and no smoking of any kind is allowed inside.

"It didn't make any sense if you wear a mask and blow smoke everywhere else," said Apache Casino Hotel General Manager Lynn Ray.

Ray did add that drinking is allowed on site, which he said still obviously requires people to move their mask.

"They will either bring it down or bring it up, it's not just one swallow then they have to put it down," said Ray.

With the casino and hotel portion back open, an attraction at the casino still closed is the event center.

Fortunately, the event center manager said the acts are all still booked.

“They are scheduled and ready to start as of July 10th. So we aren’t closed in that aspect, we just shifted everything down the road,” said Apache Event Center Manager Lee Bayless.

Another big shift is the changes in hours, as the facility is no longer open 24 hours.

Instead, it's open everyday from 10 AM until 2 AM.

"Usually you are doing sections at a time because you have so many people in the casino. This way after two thirty, basically everything is out of here, the staff is out of here, and the cleaning crew can come in and hit it hard and heavy," said Ray.

And with no customers for nearly two months, Bayless said the hard work and deep cleaning was worth it to finally see the regulars back at the Casino.

"It's been a mausoleum in here, but now that's it's open back up and starting to sprout again. It's spring time, the flowers are blooming,and it's blooming at the Apache," said Bayless.

To start, Ray said the casino will operate at about 25 percent capacity, as they work to ensure social distance.

That number will be reviewed again next week.

For smokers who still want to gamble, there are designated smoking areas outside the casino.

Ray said the smoking ban does not have an expiration date yet.

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