How Things In The Casino World Will Be Different After Coronavirus

The coronavirus or COVID 19, is not just a temporary obstacle our society is facing. While the pandemic appears to be receding, and we should get back to normal soon enough, the world we go back to could look very different. Companies might realize they can be effective and work remotely. While more people might continue getting groceries delivered, rather than going to stores. Some people might continue to workout from home instead of rejoining gyms.

One realm that will look noticeably different is the land-based casinos. Not only will there be more safety precautions put in place, it just figures to be a place that will take a really long time to get back to normal.

If you’re wondering how casinos might be impacted and what the new normal will look like, here’s a list of changes you can expect.

More People Will Play Online

Las Vegas has really shot themselves in the foot with online gambling. They’ve been so against it for so long that it’s now had a direct impact on their business. While most of the online casinos have seen a huge ramp up in traffic during the coronavirus pandemic, Vegas has been left in the dark as most of their casinos and sports books are not offering this option. It would have been the perfect way to service their customers as the land-based locations were shutdown. With many people getting a taste of the online world, don’t be surprised if they stick with it after.

Online Casino After Covid

At the end of the day, there’s no replacement for being in Las Vegas and experiencing the magic of The Strip. That being said, any people will realize that they can quench that thirst once a year over a weekend and then spend the other 362 days of the year getting a great experience with an online casino. There are bigger bonuses, you can play from the comfort of your own home and it’s an experience that – in some ways – outpaces the one in Vegas. That will be enough to pull customers away.

Less Interest Overall

One of the biggest issues that casinos are going to have is that there is going to be less interest overall in going post COVID. It’s not just casinos; think about movie theaters, restaurants or music festivals. How quickly would you feel comfortable about being on a cruise ship if there are still concerns about contagion? What about an airplane? Of course, some people will not be deterred by their apprehensions. But what we’re really getting at here is consumer confidence. It was at very healthy levels before the pandemic but now it’s plummeted. Unless consumers are confident, they aren’t going to go out and spend.

The other aspect of consumer confidence to keep in mind is not just the possibility of getting sick but the confidence in their financial situation. With so many job layoffs right now, who is out buying a car or making any types of leisure purchases? Not many. That confidence will slowly come back, but if people aren’t feeling great about their work situation, they surely won’t be splurging on lavish Vegas casino trips.

Better Deals

One of the ways that companies like casinos, airlines, hotels and cruises mitigate the “consumer confidence” problem is by offering deals. When we start to come out of this, maybe 80% of people will be concerned about traveling. However, if flights to Las Vegas are $200 instead of $500, or if the Bellagio’s nightly room rate drops from $350 to $100, that will entice a portion of those with concerns to go.

Of course, there’s a certain safety risk that will still be involved but some of those concerns can be allayed if the consumer feels like they’re getting a fantastic deal.

COVID Safety Precautions

Speaking of safety precautions, the best way for casinos to get back to normal is by taking them. These aren’t going to look normal but if everyone sticks to the strategy, this will prevent outbreaks in casinos and keep customers comfortable with the idea of visiting.

Glass Around Tables

We’ve already seen some prototypes online as to what poker tables and casino tables are going to look like. They’re going to have some kind of protective shield separating the player from the dealer. Some more advanced models even have separators in between the players themselves. That will help prevent any germs from spreading around through the air if someone coughs, sneezes or speaks “moistly”, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once put it.

Glass surrounding casino table

The key here is that each time a player leaves the table, someone will have to come around and sanitize the station.

Temperature Checks

One way that China, Hong Kong and Singapore have limited the spread of COVID, is by doing temperature checks upon entry. These quick scans can catch a person with a fever. It prevents them from possibly spreading around a virus in a crowded place like the subway or a casino. We already see this policy being put in place in North America as the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California has already installed contactless temperature checking kiosks both for employees and guests. Before the shutdown in Las Vegas, Wynn Resorts was already using this type of screening (with thermal cameras). They have been discreetly asking any person with a temperature above 100.4 Fahrenheit to leave. Expect more of these types of measures.

More Masks & More Sanitization

You can expect to see more masks and more sanitization in the near future when casinos fully reopen. Some supermarkets are already requiring patrons to wear masks. Some surmise that restaurants and other public gathering places might as well. Whether casinos require them or not, you’ll definitely see more people wearing them just to be safe.

The second layer to all of this is expect to see a high level of sanitation. We’re not talking about just the floors and bathrooms; we’re referring to all of the gaming equipment. You will see things like dices and chips getting wiped down with more frequency. And decks of cards getting changed out. This will become the new norm.

People wearing masks

COVID Vaccines & Preventative Drugs

The last leg of this pandemic is really just finding either a vaccine or drugs that work against it. It seems that we’re close on those fronts as a couple of preventative drugs. Many are in trials while the vaccine is also in the works. If these hit the market and are effective, that’s going to give consumer confidence a big shot in the arm. Fewer people will be worried about catching COVID 19 because there will be a solution to the problem.

How else do you think casino life as we know it, will change because of COVID?

Dave Golokhov

Dave Golokhov

Dave has a long history in the media. His career began at The Score Television Network. He’s since been a radio host on Sirius Satellite Radio, made numerous television appearances as a panelist, and has written for publications like FOX Sports, and The Baltimore Sun. He’s interviewed hundreds of celebrities in both sports and entertainment, ranging from Shaquille O’Neal, to Floyd Mayweather, to The Mannings.

As a travel/adventure writer, Dave has written a number of destination stories covering some of the most unique destinations, such as Bilbao (Spain), Tel Aviv (Israel) to Iceland. He’s also (been lucky to) had the opportunity to review the experience of eating at some of the world’s best restaurants, including Noma (Copenhagen), Amber (Hong Kong) and Eleven Madison Park (New York). All of those stories can be read on, The Daily Beast and The Globe & Mail.


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