Connecticut's two tribal casinos are back in play, opening their doors to the public Monday for the first time since mid-March.
"Freedom," said Lisa Relihan, who drove from Litchfield to gamble at Foxwoods Resort Casino Monday. "This is the first time I have been out. I am a cancer survivor so I was absolutely stuck."
Photos: CT Tribal Casinos Reopen to Public
NBC Connecticut spoke with people who visited Foxwoods Resort Casino from all over. Michael Osborne flew in from Las Vegas, Nevada. He said that he was invited to the casino as a special guest for the soft reopening Saturday and Sunday.
"Everybody is really on edge with the cleanliness here," said Osborne. "All the way from the blackjack dealers to even the patrons that were sitting next to me."
Gina Bialy drove to the casino from Shelton for her 21st birthday.
"We were hoping there might be some good chances on things since it has been closed for a while," said Bialy. "We are hoping."
There are electric signs lining the major roads leading to both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino reminding people of the risk that the state believes they are taking. The signs read, "Don't gamble with COVID, avoid large indoor gatherings."
Gov. Ned Lamont (D) spoke at a press conference Friday, doubling down on his concerns that the casinos were opening too soon.
"It is a risk you are taking, not just in your own health, don't take that gamble," said Lamont. "But it is a risk to the greater community as well."
Edie Dery drove from Rhode Island to go to Foxwoods Monday. She said that she was nervous about the virus and was planning on being very careful.
"It is time to get out there a little bit," said Dery. "I live alone. I have self-quarantined enough."
Interim CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino, Jason Guyot, said the team has been trained in safety practices and had the opportunity to start practicing the new protocols early with the casino's soft reopening over the weekend.
"Safety and security has always been our number one priority here at Foxwoods," said Guyot. "It has really led us to developing our new standards."