Casinos look to protect customers from themselves with new safety measures

Customers play slot machines whereas separated by limitations and sitting aside at Century Casino Cape Girardeau in Missouri.

Courtesy of Century Casino Cape Girardeau

After Missouri’s statewide closure of casinos on March 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic, on line casino supervisor Lyle Randolph mentioned he acquired anxious calls each week from each common patrons and staff asking once they have been going to reopen.

“The guests were ready to get back out and have a safe place to come and get some entertainment,” he mentioned. 

Randolph serves because the managing director and common supervisor of two Century Casinos in Caruthersville and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Located 80 miles aside in comparatively rural areas, the casinos are native sizzling spots for enjoyable and rest. The Caruthersville location simply celebrated its 25th anniversary. 

However, when each casinos have been allowed to reopen on Monday, returning friends have been greeted with new procedures designed to curb the unfold of the coronavirus.

Each location has elevated safety at its entrances. Every individual coming in now undergoes a thermal temperature screening — a temperature higher than 100.four levels earns a secondary screening and barred entry if it is nonetheless excessive. If carrying a face masks, friends have to briefly pull it down to be recognized by a safety digital camera. 

Transparent limitations have been arrange at gaming tables at Century Casino Cape Girardeau in Missouri.

Courtesy of Century Casino Cape Girardeau

Once inside, friends can see slot machines divided by clear limitations and card tables restricted to three individuals so as to area patrons additional aside. The bars are largely closed off aside from a small space the place individuals can order a drink in a one-time use cup. The casinos’ kitchens stay closed, so solely restricted meals choices, similar to prepackaged objects, can be found.

“During this time we were closed, we spent a lot of time trying to understand what could be done to protect our guests and our employees,” Randolph mentioned. 

Alcohol and different danger components

With well being companies just like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization advising individuals to keep away from shut contact with others and crowded areas, safety protocols are notably very important for indoor leisure venues. 

At locations like casinos, bars and golf equipment, inhibitions could also be lowered as individuals look to mingle and have an excellent time. The WHO has even warned that ingesting alcohol can improve the danger of catching Covid-19 by lowering immune response. In South Korea, new outbreaks have been linked to golf equipment and leisure venues after the nation eased stay-at-home restrictions, in accordance to the Associated Press.

In planning their reopenings, casinos have acknowledged severe well being dangers and brought precautions to protect individuals from infecting one another. They have carried out social-distancing measures and now provide a “a reimagined casino experience,” in accordance to Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. 

“To responsibly open, operators have established robust, regulator-approved protocols to safeguard the health of guests and employees,” Miller mentioned in a press release to CNBC. 

Guests play slot machines whereas separated by limitations at Century Casino Caruthersville in Missouri.

Courtesy Century Casino Caruthersville

Across 26 states, 519 casinos are presently open for enterprise, representing greater than 50% of casinos nationwide, in accordance to the AGA. Nevada reopened casinos on Thursday, together with in Las Vegas. 

“After months of being home, there’s a segment of people who are ready to travel here and recharge and relax and have some fun,” mentioned Virginia Valentine, president and CEO of the Nevada Resort Association.

Valentine mentioned Nevada’s tourism business is the “lifeblood” of the state, and that prior to Covid-19, it generated almost $68 billion in annual financial output. The business contributes about 40% of the state’s General Fund income by means of taxes and as Nevada’s greatest employer, helps about 450,000 jobs. 

Nevada casinos are sometimes tucked inside massive resorts which have had to comply with pointers for reopening eating places, retail and leisure, in accordance to Valentine. 

Disinfection efforts have elevated throughout the resorts, and staff are additionally required to put on masks, in accordance to Valentine. Guests have the choice to put on masks and can be provided them once they go to. One-time use paper menus at the moment are getting used at eating places, whereas casinos have rearranged flooring to enable extra space for social distancing and are solely allowed to function at 50% capability.

Caesars Entertainment, which operates the Caesars Palace resort in Las Vegas amongst different properties, is limiting the variety of contributors at gaming tables at its opened casinos and has organized slot machine banks to promote social distancing, in accordance to reopening pointers supplied to CNBC.

Bartenders will present hand sanitizer to customers and “tables or other obstructions” have been positioned all through dance flooring so as to hold massive teams of individuals from congregating collectively. 

Caesars additionally mentioned its safety workforce can be monitoring friends to guarantee bodily distancing pointers are being adopted, and can instruct individuals not to collect in shut quarters. 

Familiar faces, out-of-state friends

Though Missouri might not have huge Las Vegas resorts like Caesars Palace, the gaming business continues to be essential to the state. After on line casino licenses have been suspended in March, the state suffered an financial lack of round $1 million every day, in accordance to Mike Leara, chairman of the Missouri Gaming Commission. He mentioned the gaming business employs round 9,000 individuals in Missouri. 

“The casinos also have enormous investments in our state that we want them to be profitable,” Leara mentioned. 

However, in forming reopening suggestions, the fee took into consideration that the state’s casinos usually serve an older demographic who could also be extra prone to the coronavirus, in accordance to Leara. 

“We kept the casinos in suspension for a couple of extra weeks,” he mentioned. “We wanted to see the trajectory of the infection rate and the death rate continue [to decline] before we opened them up.”

Casinos throughout the state at the moment are implementing enhanced cleansing procedures, protecting their buffets closed and turning off each different slot machine to create area between friends amongst different measures, in accordance to Leara. 

Signage advises customers to keep “12 dollar bills away” from others at Century Casino Caruthersville in Missouri.

Courtesy Century Casino Caruthersville

New social-distancing and safety procedures have not swayed customers from coming to the Century Casinos in Caruthersville and Cape Girardeau, in accordance to Randolph. In the early days of reopening, the casinos welcomed again most of their 500 staff, and there was a lift in out-of-state guests.

“We have no casinos yet that are open in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and even further,” Randolph mentioned. “We are seeing some increased traffic from out of those locations.” 

However, the casinos have additionally benefited from the return of acquainted faces. 

“It’s a sense of coming back to normalcy,” Randoph mentioned. “They would come to the casino once a week and they want to get back to that.”

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