SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Artichoke Joe’s Casino in San Bruno, California, has opened an outdoor gambling facility for its customers after months of being shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Footage filmed on Wednesday shows a massive tent which accommodates nearly three dozen card tables with clients wearing face masks and croupiers working behind specially designed transparent plastic barriers for everyone’s safety.
“We faced the fact that we are not going to be able to open any time soon. We have been closed since the middle of March,” said Vincent DeFriese, Artichoke Joe Casino’s President. He added, “So we decided to take the opportunity to do outdoor gaming or open-air gaming.” DeFriese also commented on the challenges he faced as a business owner while setting up an outdoor gaming area. Security, COVID-19 hygiene rules, smoke in the air and coldness – just to name a few challenges DeFriese had to deal with. However, the casino’s clients, as well as nearly 400 staff members, were happy to return to the outdoor version of the casino for the first time since the initial lockdown. “It’s been exciting. At 6 o’clock last Friday we had a lineup down the street. People were excited to come back,” DeFriese added.