By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Gaming enthusiasts already are feeling lucky after learning Canadian County’s “star” casino will reopen soon.
Lucky Star Casino-Concho will open at 10 a.m. this Friday, May 15 after being closed nearly two months due to COVID-19.
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Gov. Reggie Wassana and the Tribal Legislature recently announced that all six Lucky Star Casino locations would reopen at the same time.
“The Lucky Star casinos will follow guidelines and standards that other casinos can use across the country to protect patrons and employees,” tribal leaders said in a public announcement on the C-A Tribes’ Facebook page.
“Significant social distancing efforts will include but not (be) limited to, reduced and distanced seating at all restaurants and every other gaming machine will be powered off to ensure physical distance between patrons. Plexiglas barriers may be installed in key locations across the different casino properties.”
Face masks or face coverings will be “highly encouraged” on Lucky Star Casino property and will be available for all patrons, according to the announcement.
Lucky Star Casino is an entertainment center offering various entertainment and gaming options. Located at 7777 N Highway 81 in El Reno, the 35,000-square foot casino offers gaming machines and various games like Blackjack and Poker.
‘IN THE BEST INTERESTS’
When all six Lucky Star Casino locations were closed March 19 because of coronavirus concerns, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal leaders said their decision was “in the best interest for the health and well-being of our guests and associates.”
Each casino has been undergoing professional cleaning and sterilization to ensure a safe environment when operations resume, officials said.
When gaming starts up again this Friday, Lucky Star Casino will not be open around-the-clock.
Casino hours of operation will be adjusted from weekend to weekdays until data supports the casinos being opened 24 hours a day, according to C-A Tribes’ officials.
Enhanced “deep” cleaning measures will continue and the casinos will work with Indian Health Service to screen all Lucky Star employees returning to work. Casino associates have been paid and receive benefits during this temporary closure.
“The health and safety of our community and employees is always our highest priority and through this pandemic, we have relied on facts from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and health experts to guide our decisions,” Gov. Wassana said.
Lucky Star’s casino reopening plan – based on local COVID-19 trends and data – is consistent with federal and state government guidelines.
Essential Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal government staff will tentatively report back to work May 26 and remaining employees are due back June 1.