Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez has confirmed that casinos in the country can now reopen at a capacity of 25 per cent.
Casinos have pleaded with the Government to let them reopen for months with each property investing $100,000 to establish the protocols.
Ismael Vega, General Manager of Casino Metro, said: “They listened to our complaints and we are grateful . Our employees need to work and have been struggling with unemployment insurance. We want to contribute to the economy and we are committed to continuing to do it well . Our doors are open for those who have doubts about the security of the casinos.”
She said that casinos had lost $23m in monthly revenue, while each facility is spending an average of $200,000 a month each in operational costs to cover power, water, and cleaning, to maintain the shuttered properties.
Governor Vázquez warned: “We cannot lower our guard. There’s an invisible enemy in our environment, and we have to learn to deal with him.”
A total of 15 casino owners and operators had come together to say that another 80,000 tourism industry jobs have also been affected by the closing.
“The outlook is even bleaker given the reality that many of those people who had to be laid off in March and again in July, have not yet received their unemployment benefits, lacking income to support their families,” the group said in a joint statement.
The El Tropical Casino, Hyatt Place Bayamón, the Mayagüez Resort & Casino, PRISA Group, International Hospitality Group, the Paradise Island Casino, Mayagüez Resort & Casino, the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, the Costa Bahía Hotel, the Casino Real, Four Points by Sheraton Caguas Real Hotel & Casino, the Casino Del Sol, Courtyard By Marriott Isla Verde, the Casino Atlántico, Hyatt Place Manatí, the Casino Metro, Sheraton Puerto Rico, Empresas Santana, Sheraton Puerto Rico, the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, the El Tropical Casino, Holiday Inn Mayagüez & Tropical Casino, the Casino de la Plaza, Ponce Plaza Hotel and Casino, the Ocean Casino, Courtyard By Marriott Aguadilla, HI Development Puerto Rico, the El Tropical Casino, Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino, MB Muñoz Holdings, the Casino Del Mar, La Concha A Renaissance Resort. And the Oasis Casino, Embassy Suites San Juan Hotel & Casino were represented.
“Decisions to shut down casino operations have been unfounded, and without having evaluated all the rigorous and strict measures this group has taken,” the executives said.