How to Stay Safe When Returning to Canadian Casinos

Canadians are anxious to return to their local casinos and gambling halls. Even if they’re not big gamblers, there are restaurants and bars in those establishments. Most people find the notion of getting out of their homes and returning to some sort of normalcy extremely appealing.

Businesses want to welcome those customers, too. They have had enough of the last several months of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. Casinos want to welcome their patrons back.

The concern for many, however, is that the virus is not gone. There is still no Covid-19 vaccine, and too much activity may spur another wave of positive cases.

With that in mind, casinos are opening in many parts of Canada with extreme caution. They have sanitized their gaming floors and machines, implemented new safety protocols, and limited capacity. Some require masks, others take the temperatures of customers as they arrive, and many set up contact tracing procedures…just in case.

Customers must take their own precautions as well. Here are some of the most health-conscious ways to return to your favorite casino or gambling hall and stay safe.

  1. Social Distance

This may sound like an obvious thing to do, but it can be more difficult in small venues or ones with lots of slot machines or chairs. It is also a difficult habit to adopt, especially for inherently social people.

The best way to do this is to always keep at least one full arm’s length between yourself and anyone else. Casinos should be spacing slot machines and gaming tables properly, but you can also make sure to keep your distance by choosing your seating wisely.

If others are not following the proper social distancing rules and get too close, a simple request is usually good enough. A little fib is even acceptable, such as explaining that you have a compromised immune system or live with someone who does.

  1. Mask Up

There are always going to be people who do not want to wear a mask in public. That makes it all the more important that you do. The level of safety for the mask wearer is dramatically stronger, as people wearing masks are 60% to 70% less likely to contract the disease.

It is also a good idea to bring a spare mask. It can be a refreshing change after wearing one for several hours, and it can be even safer if people around you are not masked up.

  1. Bring Hand Sanitizer

Most casinos – and all businesses, really – are providing ample hand sanitizer for patrons. However, it doesn’t hurt to bring your own as a precautionary measure. In addition, it is beneficial to have a small bottle handy to use after touching any frequently-touched surface. This can be a bar, slot machine, playing card, chair, casino chip, and cash.

  1. Bring Gloves

Not many people are wearing rubber gloves in their daily lives. It is not practical or even helpful in many cases. However, when playing a card game or handling chips at a table game like blackjack, gloves might be a smart move. Disposable gloves can be inexpensive and turned inside-out to throw away immediately after playing a game.

  1. Avoid Touching ATMs

It is best to avoid public cash machines altogether if possible. More people than ever are using credit or debit cards for transactions to avoid touching cash.

However, casinos are places that often require cash. In that case, if the ATM is a must for a withdrawal, use a pen or other piece of your own property to touch the buttons or screen on the cash machines. Using hand sanitizer immediately after using an ATM may work, but it’s best to avoid touching the machine at all.

  1. Avoid Long Stays

It is best to visit public spaces for only limited time periods. The idea of getting out of the house and being in public is appealing, but limit those outings at first. Some forms of gambling require longer sessions, such as poker, but even those players like to get up and go outside for some fresh air occasionally.

One way to avoid staying in casinos too long is to play online casino games on a home desktop or laptop, or even on a mobile device. Visiting a casino can be nice after months of quarantine, but it is safer to cut that visit short and then play online from the safety of your home.


Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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