Roulette dealers sporting face shields, acrylic partitions at card tables and plenty of hand sanitizer stations: This is the new way to place your bets at Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono.


Shortly before noon on June 22, a crowd gathered outside the casino’s doors. Some have been waiting for months for another try at the jackpot (or at least break even again) since the statewide shutdown was ordered on March 17.


"I’m hoping to win big. Enough time has passed and maybe Lady Luck is here with me," Gene Esposito, of Hackettstown, New Jersey, said. "But hey, at least I’m not in the house.’’


Guest are required to wear masks are at all times, unless when eating, drinking or smoking.


Glenn Cademartori, vice president of marketing, says the new safety measures are based on guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.


Protocols include facial masks required for guests and employees, social distancing floor decals, posters and digital signage, and close to 100 hand sanitizer stations.


"For the slots, in particular, we’ve taken away every other chair and turned off every other machine. At the tables, we’ve taken away every other chair so you’re limited three to a blackjack, and lastly, we’ve put up shields between the slot machines and table games as well to keep people safe," Cademartori said.


The resort is operating at 50% capacity, around 1,600 people.


"Our policy is first come, first serve. We monitor attendance electronically at both entrances and they are synced real-time so if we ever get to that 50% capacity limit, then we will hold the egress and the ingress — one in and one out — so we keep below that 50% capacity."


As of now, shuttle buses are not allowed.


"Bus service has been suspended statewide. Currently we’re not accepting buses and large group travel, but when we do we have policies and procedures in place in order to handle that safely."


There are also some changes when it comes to dining.


"In the restaurants we’ve removed half the tables to make sure we keep those head counts below 50%. One major change is we no longer have a buffet. It’s now a grab and go wait service concept called the Market. There are a lot of grab and go options that are prepared ahead of time, so guests will be handling the food," Cademartori said.


Live concerts have also taken a backseat.


"All entertainment has been paused. Everything that was scheduled for spring and summer has been rescheduled to next year. The first concert we have scheduled is on Oct. 9, right now. Our limit is 250 people for a large gathering and if that number is raised by October, we’ll have a concert. If it’s not we’ll continue to postpone," Cademartori said.


As the slot machines bells rang and people placed their bets, Cademartori was spotted greeting fellow player’s club members and other familiar faces.


"We want to be able to provide the same experience that we had before we closed down, so that everyone is going to enjoy this five-star experience up here in the Poconos."