Brick and mortar casinos have been closed since March but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given them the go ahead to reopen from August 1st. It was sceptical whether they would be opening at the same time as the pubs did however that did not work out. Bingo halls and betting shops were both allowed to open earlier, so many punters are questioning why casinos were left out of this bracket.
This is great news for staff as over 12,000 casino workers had been furloughed during this Covid-19 pandemic. The reopening of casinos should enable the majority of those to head back to work.
Despite brick and mortar casinos being closed throughout the last four months, online casinos have remained open. This has led a lot of customers who usually play games at the table in a casino to change to gaming online. Customers will soon be allowed back inside a casino albeit with a slightly different atmosphere to what they will be used to. It has also remained possible to play poker, roulette, blackjack etc within video games throughout this pandemic.
What will be different?
There will be new social distancing regulations that customers will be required to follow as instructed by the Prime Minister. The managing director at Grosvenor Casinos, Jonathon Swaine, says that the company will be able to cope with the guidelines. He said: “Our casinos are generally spacious venues so even with a 50% capacity we won’t have the problems that pubs will have.”
This weekend, many of us will be seeing friends, going to the pub or going out to restaurants. As we open the economy back up, we must remember to follow social distancing guidelines. Keep yourself, your family and your community safe.
— Boris Johnson #StayAlert (@BorisJohnson) July 18, 2020
Another positive point from a customer’s view is that casinos generally have much longer opening hours than most other firms – a lot of them are open 24 hours a day. This will certainly help to compromise with the reduced capacity as punters have the option to make a visit at any time of the day.
Customers will notice a change in the procedure before they even walk in the door. They will be required to have a temperature check upon arrival. As a precautionary measure against the coronavirus, punters will not be allowed in if their temperature is too high. Hand sanitiser will be available upon entrance and supplied in various locations inside. There are also new one way systems to walk around the building which will help to comply with social distancing guidelines.
As well as that, there will be sightly different methods when playing the games. During Blackjack, there will be protective screens between each player. These screens will stop any germs being transferred between people around the table.
Chips for each different game will be sanitised between different players’ usage. Each player will have chips that are to be used only by themselves to try and limit the spread of the virus. All of these new measures have come at a cost though, Staines said: “We think it’s right to reassure our customers that our casinos are safe. The screens, sanitiser and other measurements have all been significant investments.”
It is very good news for casino staff that they are reopening as many workers were facing redundancy from Genting Casino. Before the reopening announcement, the company had announced that almost 1,700 of their staff were going to be made redundant. This figure will hopefully be much less now that the company has a date that they can plan to reopen on.