The Impact Of Covid-19 On Casino Business Operations

impact covid-19 casino business operations coronavirus pandemic

When 2020 began, no one could have predicted how it would end. Once Covid-19 hit American shores, life as most people knew has changed. As part of concerted lockdowns to flatten the spread curve, many brick-and-mortar casinos were forced to close their doors. While this might have spelled utter disaster for the casino industry, it has given operators a chance to change the way they do business. 

A Gambling Evolution 

Pennsylvania casinos, like Parx, were fortunate as the state had legalized online gambling. Therefore, they could launch real money casino operations online to keep gamblers entertained while they were forced to remain at home. 

With updated graphics and interactive games, online gambling has captured players’ imagination, with many now saying they prefer it to visiting a casino. Online casinos offer table games, such as blackjack, poker, and roulette, in addition to slots games and sports betting. The dramatic increase in tax revenue generated by online casinos has several US states starting to think about legalizing it in the future, too. Current and potential operators look forward to capturing market share when that happens. 

Gradual Reopening 

Covid-19 impact on businesses continues to be felt in several industries despite the resumption of most economic activities, with casino operations being no exception. While many brick-and-mortar casinos have reopened, they are subject to state safety protocols and regulations to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak. 

While casinos attempt to return to some semblance of normality, some massive changes are evident as soon as you walk through the door. The buffet, a casino staple, is no more, having been deemed an infection hazard. Some casinos have used the opportunity to open new restaurants in their buffets’ place as experts predict the return of buffet-style eating will take many years. 

Rules And Regulations 

Most casinos have reintroduced table games for players, although they look vastly different than pre-pandemic. For example, fewer players are allowed at a table and must remain socially distanced. Additionally, plexiglass sheets separate dealers from players. Slots games remain operational but have been separated so that players stay a safe distance away from others. 

At some casinos, visitors undergo temperature screening before entering the premises. Mandatory mask-wearing also looks to be on the cards in coming months. Casinos with hotel and entertainment facilities have changed how they operate, with live shows postponed until further notice and hotel rooms subjected to more regular stringent cleaning protocols.

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