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Waterview Casino setting up the new normal for its reopening Thursday

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The parking lot is nearly empty Tuesday, two days before Waterview's reopening. It's something the casino hopes to quickly remedy starting Thursday at 8:01 a.m.. (Photo by David Day)

When Vicksburg’s Waterview Casino reopens its doors Thursday, players will enter a whole new COVID-19 casino reality starting at the front entrance.

“Thursday at 8:01, we’re going to open the doors,” said Alesia Shaw, Waterview’s marketing director.

Among the preparations being finalized is the entry procedure, which includes standing 6 feet apart to be screened before being allowed inside.

Because of COVID-19, all the state’s casinos have been closed since March 16 by order of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Like all of Vicksburg’s casinos, Waterview is looking forward to welcoming guests back, even with a host of new social distancing and hygiene restrictions.

“We actually have hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes located throughout the casino,” Shaw said. Waterview also has masks available for any customers who request one.

Where it can, the casino is moving slot machines to provide the mandated 6 feet distance between them. Where machines can’t be moved, some will be turned off and the chairs removed.

“We will have four table games open, one of them being dice,” Shaw said, “and yes, there will be minimal seating.”

Everything will be frequently sanitized based on the commission guidelines.

The casino buffet will not be open, but hungry players can grab a bite at the Lucky Bean.

“We’ll serve you the drinks. We’ll bring you your food,” Shaw said.

“We’ve been missing everyone,” she added, noting that the casino is making the safety of guests its No. 1 priority.

Watch our live interview with Alesia Shaw on our Facebook page.

Waterview employees are working hard to ensure everything is ready for guests on Thursday. (Photo by David Day)

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Vicksburg Daily News