Businesses across the South Bay are racing to reopen outdoor dining after California Governor Gavin Newsom ended stay at home orders for the state allowing Santa Clara County to drop to a less restrictive tier of COVID regulations. M8trix Casino, just north of downtown San Jose, opened its doors to guests just two days after Santa Clara County entered the Purple Tier, allowing outdoor dining.
"Casino M8trix is back with outdoor gaming Opens 1/27/2021 at 2 PM," the casino’s website reads.
Guests will be able to enjoy ten different games on 40 tables in an outdoor tent to comply with current COVID safety protocols. Table game choices range from baccarat, black back, casino war, pai gow tiles, and four poker variations.
Also in town, Bay 101 Casino reopened its outdoor gambling tent on Thursday morning at 10 a.m., per a Facebook announcement.
According to a video on M8trix’s website shown below, seating at the gaming tables is halved to enforce social distancing. Plexiglass barriers will separate players. Spectators must remain six feet away from tables. When a player leaves their chair, a casino employee will sanitize the chair and playing area.
According to NBC Bay Area, the outdoor tent features heaters and curtains to protect guests from outside conditions. The 40 game tables will be spread out as much as possible in the 12,000 square feet tent.
Zone 8, the casino’s restaurant, is open for outdoor dining with socially distanced tables. Menus will be available to access online via QR codes to reduce contact between customers. Zone 8’s menu is also available for to-go dining and will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Food must be purchased to order any alcoholic beverages.
The casino, which closed for the second time in 2020 after the statewide stay at home order in early December, has a comprehensive 17-page safety plan to protect guests and employees. After opening on Wed. Jan 27, the casino will be open 24/7.
Before entering the casino, guests must have their temperature checked. Guests will be denied entry if their temperature is above 100.4 degrees but can try again 15 minutes after a failed temperature check. Security guards will also ensure entering guests use hand sanitizer.
Masks are required for entry and at all times unless patrons are sitting down and eating at their table in Zone 8. Face coverings will be provided to those who don’t have a mask compliant with county regulations.
The San Jose Spotlight reports what can and can’t open now that Santa Clara County is in the Purple Tier. Outdoor events, including outdoor casino operations, must not exceed 200 people. Restaurants, gyms, and other non-essential businesses are preparing to increase capacity and provide more services to customers. The county lifted restrictions due to a lower number of ICU beds occupied by COVID patients.
The casinos in San Jose enjoyed a brief three-month span in 2020 where they were able to operate outdoor gambling before closing again, as KPIX reported in September. Gamblers were happy to return to in-person gaming after COVID forced M8trix Casino and Bay 101 to close operations back in March. Casinos had to wait for industry-specific regulations from the state prior to reopening.
M8trix Casino is located right off the 101 at 1887 Matrix Blvd. in San Jose.