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Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa to reopen May 21

Elvis Presley’s gold piano graces the atrium at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa during an unveiling July 11, 2019. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

TAMPA – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa will reopen its doors to the public at 7 p.m. on May 21 under new safety guidelines. The facility has been closed since March 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has shuttered hotels and casinos throughout the world.

“Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have made a tremendous commitment to sanitary protocols and a safety-first mentality for both guests and team members,” Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International, said in a statement. “We are making sure our resorts are safe and sound so our guests and team members have peace of mind when they return.”

The Tampa facility is the first of six Seminole Gaming casinos to reopen in Florida. Opening dates for Seminole Gaming’s other Florida casinos in Brighton, Coconut Creek, Hollywood and Immokalee have not been announced.

Seminole Hard Rock Tampa is implementing what it calls “Safe and Sound” program guidelines that include:

  • Temperature checks for all guests and team members prior to entry.  Any guest or team member with a temperature above CDC guidelines will not be allowed entry.
  • A requirement that all guests wear masks or cloth face coverings that meet CDC guidelines, without exception.  Masks will be provided to guests, as needed.
  • Thousands of alternating slot machines will be turned off, to help ensure social distancing on the casino floor.
  • New plexiglass barriers will divide players at table games, poker games and customer service areas.
  • 850 signs will be posted throughout the complex to encourage social distancing and help ensure adherence to “Safe and Sound” guidelines.
  • More than 100 team members will be part of a new “Safe and Sound Clean Team” to focus on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout the complex, with special emphasis on high-touch surfaces and common areas.
  • Hand-sanitizing stations will be available on the casino floor, at the entrances and throughout the resort.
  • Constant purification and disinfecting of the air flowing into the complex through the AtmosAir bipolar ionization system designed to destroy virus particles in the air and on surfaces.
  • An overall 50% reduction in guest capacity throughout the resort.

Restaurant venues– including Hard Rock Cafe and Rise Kitchen & Deli – will be open with social distancing requirements in place.  The hotel will open 200 of its 800 guestrooms. The Seminole Hard Rock Event Center will remain closed until further notice.  No events will take place at the pool complex until further notice.  

According to the American Gaming Association,  the pandemic closed all 989 commercial and tribal casino properties in the U.S. AGA’s casino tracker indicates 82 properties had reopened as of May 18. The Miccosukee Resort and Gaming in Miami reopened Sunday morning.

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at