Atlantic City and Vegas casinos are looking forward to the day when they’ll be able to open their doors and start accepting patrons once again. And although this day may soon be coming, it seems that things won’t be the same as they used to be before the pandemic. There are many changes ahead.
In Las Vegas it was already made clear by the authorities to be that the casinos wanting to reopen will need to present a clear plan for the measures they plan to implement. The gaming board will take a couple of weeks to check the proposal and then come up with an answer. But, what kind of measures are we talking about, exactly?
Improved Sanitary Measures
Once the casinos are up and running again, patrons and staff alike will probably have to get used to a new routine. It’s quite likely casino guests will need to wear masks while inside, which will probably have a negative influence on the number of people wanting to visit.
Slot machines will have to be set in a way to respect social distancing rules. This will create logistic problems for the venues, as they’ll be able to place fewer machines on the floor. Fewer machines will result in diminishing profits. Plus, gamblers coming in together won’t be thrilled about the idea of having to sit away from each other and not being able to converse normally while playing.
Casino staff will also need to constantly clean the slots and the gaming areas. Quite likely, machines will need to be disinfected after every player, which doesn’t just create more work for the employees. It also means that players won’t be able to switch between the machines as freely as before.
Other Proposed Precautions
In this new situation, there are no clear guidelines so everyone’s trying to come up with solutions that would allow them to run their businesses and still adhere to government regulations. Some venues are ready to go as far as providing their hotel guests with sticks to use to press elevator buttons to avoid direct contact.
At Wynn Resorts, further plans include scanning all guests’ temperature upon arrival and turning back everyone who shows over 100.4 degrees. At the gaming tables, there will only be three chairs, and the casino is planning to shut down every second slot machine to help create the necessary distance between the players.
Are New Measures Feasible?
All these rules and regulations will certainly hurt the foot traffic in all the venues. Most players come to the casinos to relax and have good time with a few drinks. This will be much harder to do while wearing a face mask and having someone constantly running around and wiping slots around you.
Many gamblers are superstitious and love their privacy. Having the casino staff constantly on their back definitely won’t help them get in the “zone”. Even those who do come in will likely spend less time inside.
It’s not just the players who’ll have to deal with these issues, though. For a long time, casinos have been banning any and all items of clothing that help cover a player’s face. All of a sudden, gamblers will have to wear a mask to enter the venue and will have to keep it on for the entire duration of the visit.
It is clear that this creates many security risks. It will be much harder for the casino staff to keep track of the patrons and those with nefarious intents will have many opportunities to get away with it.
And even these measures, as strict as they may be, don’t address all the issues. Chips and money constantly exchanging hands in a casino also represent a potential health risk. And that’s not something that can be easily avoided without changing the very foundation of the gambling industry.
It will be interesting to see how things will develop in the upcoming weeks. While casino operators seem to be willing to roll with the government requirements for the time being, the question remains if their businesses will remain feasible with all these restrictions in place. And, if not, what will happen next?