For us in the gambling industry, the reopening of the Vegas casinos has been the sign to watch for “going back to normal”. Not only is the Las Vegas economy heavily dependent on the casinos for their revenue, but the place is such a gambling icon all over the world, the opening of their casinos is a sign that we have finally started the process of putting the coronavirus lockdowns behind us. And let’s not forget that when it comes to people being packed like sardines 24/7, no other place comes even close to the level achieved at any popular casino.
Of course, no one has ever expected that we will simply flip a switch and everything will go back to the way it was. While the Vegas casinos are opening on Thursday, safety will be the main theme on the Vegas Strip. Before reopening, every casino must submit a safety plan with the gambling board, and here are some of the items on those plans.
Firstly, hand sanitizing will be the main focus at the casino, with stations increasing throughout the properties. Many casinos have long provided hand sanitizing stations, but now their number will be drastically increased. In addition, all employees will be wearing masks, while patrons will be required to do so at certain table games, and encouraged to wear masks throughout the rest of the casino floor.For example, players at the roulette wheel will need to wear masks, while at the blackjack and craps tables, there will be plexiglass separating people playing those casino games.
All employees will also be screened for symptoms when coming to work, but it’s unlikely to see similar screenings for guests of the casinos. And, as we expected, social distancing will be enforced in the form of disabling every other slot machine, in order to avoid players sitting next to each other.
On the hotel side of the Las Vegas casinos, the use of mobile technology will be heavily utilized. Guests are encouraged to check out using their mobile devices, as well as using their phones to unlock their hotel rooms. Many hotels, not only those at the casinos, had begun using digital key technology before the coronavirus pandemic, so this process should be quite smooth and with few, if any, problems.
How the new casino safety measures would be received by the Vegas players is yet to be seen. While very few may complain about the extra space at the slots, heck, most people would welcome the additional leg room, the action at the tables may suffer quite a bit – blackjack players may not be too happy sitting in a plexiglass booth while betting. But regardless of the fact that there will be an adjustment curve initially, the fact that the Las Vegas casinos are finally reopening is a welcome sign, not only among casino enthusiast, but for everyone associated with the local economy. A lot of other casinos, not only in the USA, but the world, will be following the progress of the Vegas casinos and likely copy the safety measures taken there. We will certainly be keeping an eye on how this new normal works.