Last year has been tough for many industries. For the gambling sector, only land casinos and bookies mainly suffered as in mid-March 2020, governments implemented lockdowns and for the states of Nevada and New Jersey, casinos were forced to temporarily halt their operations. The closing of these establishments was a part of the many efforts that the governments had to help contain the virus.
While these establishments in gambling hotspots close their doors, online casinos started to become quite a trend. Regular gamblers still found ways to do their favorite activity and they resorted to the best online casino.
In March, many online casinos did report a spike in their traffic. This was also when sports were hard to come by. Plenty of the major sports leagues like the NBA and the EPL had to cancel and postpone the rest of their seasons and this made the sports betting sector suffer. It was only in June when sports events started to get the go signal to continue and since then, the sports betting sector has been recovering.
When Casinos Reopened
It was only for a few weeks that land casinos had to hit the pause button. In June, hotel-casinos in downtown and suburban Las Vegas reopened followed by the casinos at the Las Vegas Strip. What’s interesting is how there were dozens of people who waited for these establishments to welcome them.
However, even if Las Vegas has finally allowed these businesses to reopen, it was still a different Las Vegas for some. Employees of hotels, casinos, and restaurants are now wearing masks. The customers also had to go through a temperature check before entering the establishments.
In October, the city’s hotel occupancy was only around 47 percent and this is quite low compared to how it was in the same month the previous year which was at 90 percent. With that, room rates also went down to 104 US dollars. This is less than what the room rates were in October 2019 which was at the rate of 135 US dollars.
Casino-related COVID Cases
Last month, San Diego News reported hundreds of cases that appear to be connected to casinos. According to them, county records of community outbreaks show that over 600 COVID 19 cases have been linked to seven casino areas.
Amita Sharma of KPBS has said in her report, “There were at least 638 coronavirus cases linked to seven local tribal casinos from June through mid-December. The highest is tied to the counties. The two largest casinos VA has casino and resort and sequin casino and resort.
It’s very concerning that there’s ongoing transmission in these settings. Christian Rammers is an infectious disease doctor. He says that transmission fuels community spread. Yes, like a chain reaction. And you know, we’re not going to be able to get our hands around this epidemic when there was just this ongoing transmission.”
Staying Safe in Casino Hotspots
The pandemic is still not over but casino hotspots like Las Vegas and the Atlantic City are pretty much back in business. What these casinos have to make sure nowadays, however, is the safety of their employees and their customers.
For MGM Resorts, all of its properties have a comprehensive safety plan and its employees are routinely tested for COVID 19. There are also physical distancing rules to be followed and standalone handwashing stations can be found around the casino floors. To avoid contact, restaurants now have digital menus and they have also increased the number of times they sanitize the environment.
Nightclubs and pool party venues are still prohibited in the state but they still are businesses after all and they have to find ways to survive the pandemic. Some of them have reopened already but instead of being a venue for parties, they have turned into hangouts and lounges where people are instructed to socially distance themselves.
The rise in the number of cases in places where casinos are located still troubled many. In New Jersey, the state’s governor placed restrictions on the businesses in November. This includes the operation hours of indoor restaurants in casinos. These restaurants should be closed from 10 PM to 5 AM but operations on the casino floor can still proceed.
It’s still hard to say that you can now safely travel to casinos since vaccination has only started. It’s still better to go online and play casino games because you can ensure your safety and it’s even cheaper than having to travel to casino hotspots.
While these businesses are already following safety protocols, there is still a pandemic. However, if it’s unavoidable to travel, just make sure that you stay smart. Follow the protocols in place and sanitize as often as possible.