COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on businesses around the world. The virus is at different stages in various countries across the planet, and that includes the United States. Due to the sheer size of the country, there are going to be ups and downs in terms of the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US. However, casinos have been steadily reopening across the United States since May, and that is a good sign.
You must go back to the 18th of May to find the reopening date of three casinos in Baton Rouge, the capital of the US state of Louisiana. It had been almost two months since the casinos in Baton Rouge were closed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, and it was clear that people could not wait to get back inside their favorite casino.
Kim Ginn, the general manager at L’Auberge, said, “We had about 60 customers in line when we opened up at 8 am,” before continuing, “It’s been fabulous to hear voices and excitement and winning back in the building again.”
Some casinos in the US were forced to close for a longer period than those highlighted above. Good examples include the Encore Boston Harbor, the MGM Springfield, and the Plainridge Park casinos in Massachusetts. According to this piece on online-casinos.com, COVID-19 forced them to close their doors for almost four months, having been shut at the outset of the virus. With Massachusetts moving into phase 3 of its reopening plan, these casinos have been allowed to welcome people back to their premises under the guidance of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
It wasn’t an easy road to reopening for casinos in the United States and using the example of Baton Rouge, several actions had been required before casinos were allowed to open. Each casino had to submit a plan of reopening to the Louisiana State Police. They also had to show how they were going to maintain social distancing between guests and hygiene inside the building. With social distancing in mind, only 25% of the capacity at the L’Auberge and other Baton Rouge casinos can be used safely. Also, only half of the games inside the casinos can be used at any one time.
This is just one example of casinos steadily reopening across the US. Another good example of how the gradual reopening of casinos in the United States is working can be seen at the Thunderbird Casino in Oklahoma. This casino reopened in May, and there was a queue of 250 people waiting to get inside the building. Every person who entered was wearing a mask and had their temperature taken.
There are several measures in place to ensure the safety of customers and staff including hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, a supple of masks to be worn on the gaming floor, slot machine players must sit four feet apart from one another with plexiglass separators in place, or six feet apart without, no drinks are allowed around the gaming floor, and some table games are not permitted. All of these preventative measures are in place after the recent protests across the country saw a spike in people testing positive for COVID-19.
Some of the casinos in Massachusetts will also be conducting temperature scans at the door. Anyone who shows signs of having the coronavirus will not be allowed to enter, and the protocols are set to remain in place for some time. While it is not ideal, it has allowed casinos in Massachusetts and across the United States to begin opening their doors to the public.
As highlighted above, some states are ahead of others in terms of reopening businesses. Casinos in Las Vegas were allowed to reopen in early June, but, again, they could only do so by following strict safety regulations. Las Vegas relies heavily on visitors, and the economy took a massive hit due to COVID-19. In April and May 2020, the number of people visiting Las Vegas was down by over 96% compared to figures in 2019. The numbers are slowly improving, but the sector is still having to deal with challenges daily.
On Monday, the 7th of July, Nevada reported 491 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death. There has been a steady increase of confirmed cases in Nevada since casinos, and other businesses reopened, and regular checks at casinos and other leisure facilities have been taking place, forcing more players to seek out online tournaments.
Many of the leading companies who own casinos in Las Vegas are taking a staggered approach to open their premises. These include Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Red Rock Resorts. This is typical of the approach by many casino owners across the United States, as they steadily begin to reopen across the country.
Read more: Rules and legal gambling age in Las Vegas