Cars pack bestbet parking lot despite officials telling public to avoid crowds

Patron says bestbet was taking precautions to reduce risk of COVID-19 spreading

Leaders urge people to use social distancing to help slow the spread of the coronavirus
Leaders urge people to use social distancing to help slow the spread of the coronavirus

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As federal, state and local leaders preach social distancing and urge people to limit large gatherings and avoid crowds, dozens of people were still gambling Monday at bestbet Jacksonville.

Car after car could be seen entering the parking lot of the bestbet in Arlington.

Even though Mayor Lenny Curry on Monday issued an order banning some establishments from having more than 50 people inside at once until further notice, it appeared, based on the number of cars in the parking lot, that people at bestbet were taking the risk.

“I just want to make some money and just hang out,” Alvin Wiley said.

Wiley told News4Jax he believes that bestbet has made some changes to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

“They have four people to a table so that it is not crowded,” he said. “They have gloves. You can wear gloves if you want to wear gloves.”

Wiley also said there is a space between each person who is sitting at a card table to give each person more space.

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Joel Sweeney, who is retired, enjoys coming to bestbet once or twice a week. But on Monday, he drove by to see how many cars were parked there first. He said there were too many, so he decided to go back home.

“I am not going to go until things change,” Sweeney said. “I am worried about it -- all that coughing and going on.”

News4Jax reached out to bestbet to find out what precautions it’s taking, but our calls had not been returned as of Monday evening.


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