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Casinos, coastal theme park reopening

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is planning to reopen its electronic bingo casinos on Monday.

Wind Creek Hospitality said that all three Alabama casinos will reopen with safety changes. The casinos had been closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Masks or face coverings will be required for everyone. Wind Creek said in a news release that all of the properties will be limiting the number of guests on the casino floor. The new capacity will be roughly one-third of normal operations.

The casino floor will be open to the public for four sessions each day, and deep cleaning will be conducted between sessions. Machines will be cleaned between guests.

Jay Dorris, CEO and president of Wind Creek, said reservations are not required, but the casinos will use a reservation system that people can use to book playing time.

“Just like your favorite restaurant on a Friday night, a reservation isn’t required. But if you absolutely want to join us on a given day and time, reservations are available,” Dorris said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a gulf coast amusement park also owned by the Poarch Creeks opened over the weekend.

The Owa theme park says temperature checks on visitors and capacity limits will be used to help reduce the threat of the new coronavirus as it reopens this weekend in Foley. It also says hand sanitizing stations have been added around the property.

The park, which reopened Friday afternoon, is the latest attraction to reopen as Alabama tries to reinvigorate businesses that closed to avoid spreading disease. Alabama Adventure and Splash Adventure in Bessemer reopened previously, and a statement posed on social media says its season passes are nearly sold out.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is Alabama’s only federally recognized tribe. The tribe operates bingo casinos in Montgomery, Atmore and Wetumpka.

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