Visitors line up early for the reopening of Southland Casino

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — The doors at Southland Casino didn’t open until 8 a.m. Monday, but that didn’t stop visitors eager to hit the slots from lining up several hours early to be the first ones inside.

“I thought it was going to be real crowded and the lines were going to be long they are only letting one-third capacity,” said Renae Carnes.

One thing they noticed right off the bat was the changes implemented as you step inside.

The casino is only operating at 33 percent capacity. Guests who do come to play will have their licenses scanned and temperature checked.

“All the guests get an ID scan, that keeps records so we know they’ve been here and have any signs they cannot come back to see us for 72 hours, ” said Jeff Strang with Southland Casino.

Guests must wear masks inside.

There will be no gaming tables, racing, smoking and some chairs have been removed to keep players a safe distance apart. There will be a limited food menu.

Employees will be wiping down the slot machines throughout the day and everything will be deep cleaned once the casino closes for the day.

“It’s a good thing because everyone needs to be safe since the COVID-19,” said Rodney Robinson.

The state gaming board and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson gave the go ahead to reopen. However, the mayor of West Memphis wasn’t on board, saying it’s too early.

Visitors told WREG’s Melissa Moon they’re comfortable with what staff is doing to keep everyone safe and just seemed happy to be back, having a good time.

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