Casinos are reopening all over the country. Closed since March, opening casinos during COVID-19 adds a new set of concerns for employees and guests alike. But it is the management teams of the casino industry that needs to assure us we will be safe and still enjoy our casino visit.
In New England, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun will be opening on June 1st to Governor Lamont’s dismay. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said she expects the Rhode Island Twin River Casinos to reopen either on June 8th or June 15th. Lagging behind both states, Massachusetts won’t be allowed to reopen for at least another 5 weeks. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission continues to work on the opening date. Both Maine casinos are still closed until further notice.
Changes in the casino to protect everyone might be around for a while. But in this industry, you never know how long. Experiments like skill-based slots and the server-based gaming era continue to be afterthoughts. How long will face masks, temperature checks, and plexiglass be part of our “New Normal.”
Casinos Need to Hear From You
Before or after your first visit, try contacting a casino staff member to let your concerns known. To say that the casino industry as a whole wants you back is an understatement. Contact your host. You may find an excellent offer waiting for you. Better yet, peace of mind after a discussion with management may be worth an entire bankroll.
Bobby Soper, president and CEO of Mohegan Sun Gaming & Hospitality, spoke in a webinar called “Gaming in Crisis: The Path Back.” He said, “Because of home-sheltering, operators have the attention of their customers like no other time before. There’s a tremendous opportunity to communicate with those staying home. Proactive operators will implement surveys during this time of closure to understand their perceptions of what’s important to them, and if they’re comfortable visiting the property.”
Wynn Leads the Way
Wynn was one of the first to release a detailed 23-page health and sanitation reopening plan last month. Click here to read it. It included:
- non-invasive thermal imaging cameras (which it is already using in Macau) to screen employees and customers alike for health
- gaming floor social distancing; and
- PPE for employees based on their role.
The company believes that “By having this strong of a re-opening plan, we’ll give our customers the confidence to return and enjoy themselves. What that’s going to look like, I don’t know, and when that’s going to happen, we have guesses…..we do think that if we and the industry embrace these safety steps, we’ll give our customers confidence.”
“New Normal” When Opening Casinos During COVID-19
“Normal” isn’t coming back anytime soon. Who knows what that will even look like? But before any vaccine is available to all, the “New Normal” is here to stay. Many changes and additions to the casino floor may be here for a long time to come.
Change happens. For example, Flying the “Friendly Skies” changed drastically after 911. Airline prices rose, and rose, nickel and diming us on everything except the air we breathe. Another example – the Great Recession and the casino industry. As growth and expansion happened after that, we felt the constant pressure of parking fees and resort fees in the casino industry. Comps diminished and discretionary money spent expecting discretionary comps fell victim to algorithms and computerized data.
Reopening Means Confident, and Safety Assured Patrons
This time, they need to get us back, and they must make all of us comfortable. Opening Casinos During COVID-19 is still an “iffy” proposition to many. The month of June will be a telltale month to see if they can do this right. The casino industry needs to treat all of their guest’s concerns with the utmost respect. More than ever, Opening Casinos During COVID-19 must be done right the first time.
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