Security measures cause problems with reopening casinos

Wearing masks raises concerns for the casino operations, as surveillance staff would find it difficult to identify people barred from a casino through a government exclusion list. It would also be hard to make sure chips are sanitized quickly enough for each game.

Hard Rock in Las Vegas may require 10 to 15 feet between guests and every employee and guest would be wearing a mask.

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to bring several changes to US casinos’ layout when they are able to reopen, which could still be weeks away. With many decisions yet to be made, potential safety measures being considered in casinos across the country include temperature scans at the door, a half or third of slot machines working, every other table closed, and plexiglass barriers between dealers and customers or separating slot machines.

Wearing masks could be a requirement for dealers and servers in many places. Workers may be standing by to wipe down slot machines, kiosks and even elevator buttons as soon as someone is done touching them. One Las Vegas casino plans to hand out plastic sticks for pressing the buttons.

Several casino executives in Atlantic City and Las Vegas acknowledged those are among the issues they are grappling with, and they note that state officials could still change the specifics of their plans before any reopening.

Casinos in the Chinese enclave of Macau have reopened, adopting many of the measures U.S. casinos are considering. Business has been slow to return.

At check-in, each guest would get an amenity bag including a pointer for touching elevator buttons, a bottle of hand sanitizer and a COVID-19 information card. A spray bottle of disinfectant and towels intended for cleaning will be in each guest room. Every other slot machine would be turned off to create space between gamblers, and table games would have a maximum of three chairs.

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