Arkansas’ 3 casinos opening as decision on bars expected

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ three casinos planned to reopen on Monday as the governor was expected to announce whether bars can follow suit with new coronavirus safety rules.

The casinos at the Oaklawn horse track in Hot Springs, Southland dog track in West Memphis and Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff planned to reopen after the state approved their plans for enforcing new social distancing rules because of the virus.

Each of the casinos will be limited to one-third capacity and are enforcing other restrictions on games and hours.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday planned to announce whether bars will be allowed to reopen. The Republican governor has been relaxing restrictions in recent days, and restaurants were allowed to resume dine-in service last week.

The Health Department says at least 4,759 people have tested positive for the virus. The true number is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Ninety-eight people in the state have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.