Minnesota casinos starting to open with several precautions in place

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Some casinos in Minnesota are starting to reopen.

But they are taking extra precautions to keep employees and guests safe.

Mystic Lake and Little Six casinos have decided to resume operations on May 26. And like many places, it will look a little different when the doors open. 

"It's going to be very different," said Angela Heikes, President and CEO of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Gaming Enterprise. 

Both Little Six and Mystic Lake have been closed since the middle of March, forcing many in the community out of work.

"Knowing it's their livelihood and their well-being and making decisions around that is very very difficult," Heikes said. 

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But next week is a new beginning with more sanitizing and social distancing cues. Plus both guests and employees are required to wear a mask.

"We just think that is safer for our team members and safer for our guests, so that's the environment we're providing," Heikes said. 

Plus you can expect thermal temperature screenings before you enter the casinos, reduced areas for smoking and limiting the operating capacity by about 50 percent. 

"We've taken out over half of the chairs for our slot machines and table games," Heikes said. 

Other casinos across the state are taking some of the same precautions. Prairie's Edge Casino Resort in Granite Falls reopened on Monday.

Running Aces is preparing to start back up as well. Their hotel is expected to open on June 1. They have applied for racing to start on June 20, but are waiting for state approval to make it official. 

"We will learn what's working and what's not working," Heikes said. 

While it certainly won't be the same experience, Heikes is confident this is the right move for the employees and their guests.

"We're just really hopeful about how we will operate and work in this new environment," Heikes said. 

Mystic Lake and Little Six will offer food but only in a limited fashion, similar to what is seen across the state.