Basic health concerns are always a important when visiting the casino. Lately, we have even more reasons to be careful. So, we need to take another look at germs in the casino and what you can do about staying healthy. Flu season and concerns over the coronavirus should make us aware of basic healthy habits to practice in casinos or any public place. Unfortunately, gamblers tend to cut corners on the necessary rituals and elements for staying healthy and respecting the welfare of others. Which is why I present to you Casino Health, Wash Your Hands.
Please note, this is not meant to catastrophize the recent global epidemic. However it should be taken seriously as in all health related issues.
Prepare For Your Visit 6 Months in Advance
Sure, I know that sounds ridiculous, but take care of yourself. Try to reduce anything that decreases your body’s immune system. You are visiting a place full of humans, which means full of germs. Luckily, our body’s immune system can handle most of these trouble makers – if it’s in good working condition. Look into a healthier lifestyle and supplements that can help boost your immune system (under your doctor’s supervision). Several factors like sleep, diet, stress and hygiene can affect the immune system’s performance. In addition, your immune system can also be weakened by excessive smoking, alcohol, and sugar. If you enjoy visiting the casino, prepare your body as best you can so you may visit when and how many times you like.
Casino Health, Wash Your Hands
“Something much more unclean than temptation and overindulgence can lurk in the corners of land-based casinos everywhere: potentially dangerous germs. Every time you push a button, pull a handle, or slide your chips across the table, you could be picking up millions of bacteria.” This comes from a great article written in 2018 from Casinoroom.com called “Gambling with Germs.”
This is what EmLab P&K found in their laboratory testing:
- a slot machine handle has 6X more bacteria than a toilet seat
- a $5 chip has 11X more bacteria than a toilet handle
- the vast majority of the germs found at the Vegas casinos are “gram-negative rods”, which can be harmful. (One type you’ve probably heard of is E. coli.)
- slot machine handles (not buttons, which is equal to the amount of bacteria on a steering wheel after visiting a place like Chucky Cheese) and the $5 chip were the most prone to harboring the bad bacteria. Ninety-five percent of the germs on the slot machine handle were the potentially harmful and often antibiotic-resistant.
This study didn’t take in to account one really scuzzy surface – the front glass of slot machines. Have you seen what players do to that screen?
So, wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth between spins on the slots or hands at the table and steer clear of people who appear sick. And always keep a sanitizing agent with you for the times you wait for attendants to bring your hand pay(s).
Men – Wash Your Hands!
Tim Allen, the comedian from a fun 80’s TV show “Tool Time” said it best in his stand-up routine. He would say “Men Are Pigs.” While we shouldn’t generalize an entire gender like that, here is an observation I’d like to share, since I have used casino bathrooms all over the country. (this only comprises casino “mens” restrooms, in case you wondered). An unscientific observation while at the sink washing my hands suggests 20% of men leaving the restroom do not wash their hands – and as a bet, you might want the over. Most of those gentlemen go directly to tables, machines, ATMs, or TITO redemption. Enough said, since it sickens me to think what this means to the statistics above.
Men – Wash Your Hands!”
If You Have Respiratory Problems, Choose Non-Smoking
We have some very nice non-smoking casinos here in New England. Before the Massachusetts Casino Expansion Law, Maine paved the way making both of its casinos non-smoking. All three of Massachusetts casinos are completely non-smoking – Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park. Even the Connecticut casinos have non-smoking areas – such as the poker rooms (all poker rooms are non-smoking), the tortoise shell in Mohegan Sun’s Casino of the Sky and the Rainmaker Casino and Bingo Hall at Foxwoods. Twin River Casino & Hotel has two levels, with the 2nd floor all non-smoking.
Related Post – Casino Etiquette for Smokers & Non-Smokers (and Vaping)
So, consider good hygiene at the casino……and at the grocery store (carts)…..restaurants (restrooms)……doctors offices (chairs, door knobs, you name it) ……airplanes, trains & automobiles…….