Gaming and amusement venues in the UK could begin to introduce customer temperature checks, staggered machine access, and mandatory face masks if new measures proposed by US casinos are indicative of how the industry will adapt to a socially-distant near future.
Amusement centres, arcades and bingo halls in the UK will have to introduce stringent new customer protection measures in order to facilitate a swift reopening after lockdown, possibly following the example of gaming houses in Las Vegas. Venues in the US gambling mecca have begun outlining a range of protection measures to ensure social distancing, with the initiatives likely to cross the Atlantic when casinos eventually reopen their doors.
“Prepare to have your temperature scanned at the door,” said the Associated Press, reporting on the new Sin City measures. “Maybe a half or third of slot machines will work. Every other table could be closed, and there could even be plexiglass barriers between dealers and customers.”
“Workers may be standing by to wipe down slot machines, kiosks and even elevator buttons as soon as someone is done touching them.”
Though the UK government’s current thoughts on protective face masks in social settings are unclear, Hard Rock Casinos president Jim Allen stated “every employee and guest should be wearing a mask.”
Whilst this inevitably raises questions as to how casinos can identify players on either governmental or self-imposed exclusion lists when wearing protective equipment, UK casinos could well see masks becoming an essential part of player protections.
As well as requirements for players, casino floor layouts are also likely to be re-evaluated, with proposals including the shutdown of every other slot machine, and limiting tables to just three chairs, with an empty table between each in play.
But then, UK venues are not Vegas casinos; the luxury of space and machine numbers is incomparable, making the US model extremeley difficult to replicate over here, but nonetheless an interesting exercise to assess.
UK casinos have as yet not unveiled any specific measures for when movement restrictions are eased, but the MD for Grosvenor Casinos Jonathon Swaine told customers the company “will continue to monitor Government guidance.”