Thunderbird Casino open for business with social distancing and safety rules in place

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Thunderbird Casinos in Norman and Shawnee officially opened for business Monday morning.

Thunderbird joins Tonkowa Casino and Osage Casino as the only casino open in the state.  

“We’re taking temperatures at the door, we’ve limited the amount of guests that can come into the facility,” Thunderbird General Manager Sam Caruso said.  “We’re limiting the amount of hours that we normally have.”

Thunderbird is usually open 24 hours a day, but for now is just opening from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

Caruso also says they are only allowing a third of the people in they usually do. 

Only 275 guests are allowed in the Norman location at a time, and just 125 people are allowed inside the Shawnee location.  

“We are requiring masks, Caruso said.  “For the first week or so we are going to supply the masks.”

Caruso says so far, all of the guests have embraced the new rules, with the only complaint being that it’s hard for some guests to find a machine to play.  

“We are closer to a true six foot seperation between each one of our games,” Caruso said.  “That means we are going to have more machines turned off than other casinos might have. We felt that for the safety of our guests it was important to get as close to that six foot seperation as we could.”

It’s not an ideal situation, but Caruso says it’s a start for a tribe, a casino, and their guests after having to be shut down for so long.  

“You have to keep everybody safe,” Joshua Givens said.  “So as long as we can come out gamble, and be safe, I don’t have a problem with that.”

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