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Four Winds South Bend reopens with precautions

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - It’s reopening day for Four Winds casinos after months of being closed due to COVID-19 and people are ecstatic to be able to back inside and gambling again.

In fact, they even started letting people in as early as 10:30 so there wouldn’t be a line outside come noon when they were actually supposed to open.

Michiana residents poured into Four Winds casino in South Bend on its first day back open since March.

“Thank god, because I might have gone nuts if I had to stay at home without my relaxation place,” Rose Keyser, one guest said.

“It was terrible. Me and my friends I didn’t know what to do. We had nowhere to go nothing to do,” Cynthia Stickney, another guest said.

“I was trying to be the first one here,” Adam Risner, another guest said. “I drive for about an hour 20 minutes away.”

The added restrictions and safety requirements are no bother for most of the people entering the casino.

Many are just eager to get back into the swing of things.

“I come here a lot. Ever since it first opened here at least once a week,” Risner said.

“We come here all the time. Daily probably,” Stickney said. “It’s fun the whole atmosphere is great here. I love it here.”

For Keyser, gambling is much more than just an activity.

“Very important. It’s how I relax. I don’t do anything else,” she said.

And it being closed hit her especially hard.

“There’s nothing to do. This town is very bland and the casinos gave it life and now they’ve been closed, there has been no life, you just hang out at home and that gets a little old for people. You need to have that enjoyment, relaxation place even go out to dinner place and this is it for us,” she said.

All four winds casinos are open and some people I spoke to are hitting each and every one.

“I’m going to new buffalo next,” Stickney said.

Of course, masks are required, smoking is limited to these areas outside.

Some of the machines are turned off while other more popular games have separator screens so that folks can play their favorite game without worrying about their safety.

But from what people said, these added precautions like a mask requirement did not affect their decision to come back into the casino.

Now the building is following a 50 % capacity rule so they are counting all of the folks coming in and when they hit that mark, it will be one in one out.

A lot of the restaurants are open except for the steakhouse and buffet.

Table games are closed but there are 900 slot machines currently running.

Many guests said it had been hard keeping busy and entertained with the casino closed and that they are just excited to be back and able to hopefully win big.

“I like the quarter and penny stocks. But I’ll move to the quarters every now and then,” Stickney said.

“I’m going to hit the penny ones, the one that I’ve been winning on last time I was here,” Risner said. “I think I’m lucky. My hands been itching all morning.”

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