Land based casino return with stricter rules
Land based casino return with stricter rules
It feels like we’ve all been living in a bad dream for the past 2 years. The news headlines seemed like they were being ripped straight out of a movie script. Many businesses have been closed to the public for far too long. This included our beloved land-based casinos. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that land-based casinos began accepting new players. In order to get back to business-as-usual many businesses including casinos have been required to implement new rules and regulations. This was all meant to help manage the ongoing worldwide pandemic. Slowly but surely casinos are starting to accept visitors again. So where do we currently stand and what will be the future for casinos moving forward.
Before the pandemic hit
Prior to the pandemic and before masks and vaccines Canadian gamblers could enjoy visiting land-based casinos. In fact, land-based casinos were going through a period of growth and were able to generate more revenue year over year. New venues were being opened and existing ones were being renovated or expanding in size. All was well and good until around March of 2020. That’s when everything changed around the world and many places of business began to close their doors to the public. Once the pandemic took hold many casinos were quick to react in order to try and come up with new regulations so they could reopen as fast as possible. Worst of all many casino employees were sent home without pay until the situation improved.
Once the pandemic hit
Once covid began to spread the world entered lockdown causing many businesses to close their doors. Land-based casinos were one of the first industries to suffer from lockdowns. Having to closing their doors early on the gambling industry was hit hard. Interestingly enough while land-based casinos had to temporarily close online casinos experienced a boost. Canadian gamblers looking to play needed to switch to online casinos. While this was difficult it was necessary to help the spread of the virus.
Post pandemic lockdown
Early this year a few pharmaceutical companies released their various versions of a corona vaccine. Companies like Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca and Johnson and Johnson began distributing their vaccines. Around the world and especially in Canada countries were making a major push to get their populations vaccinated. Since Canada did not produce their own vaccine, the country was reliant on foreign pharmaceutical companies to deliver vaccines. Initially while supplies were short different at-risk groups across the country were given priority. Once more doses arrived, more and more Canadians across the country were eligible to get vaccinated. This allowed each province to start working on easing restrictions. Eventually lockdowns ended and people were able to return to places such as restaurants, bars, comedy clubs and even land-based casinos.
How casinos adapted in order to reopen
Once lockdowns were lifted governments rushed to come up with new rules and regulation that would allow many businesses including casinos to reopen. Initially casinos were required to implement rules such as a limit to how many people could be inside the venue at any given time. In addition, players were required to socially distance from one an other in order to prevent the chance of spreading the virus. Furthermore, casino employees were required to wear gloves and masks in order to avoid passing on the virus or catching it from one of the players.
While this seemed like a good solution more regulations would soon follow. In time some provinces began to contemplate implementing a vaccine passport. Some provinces were quicker to implement this protocol than others. In Quebec the province moved fast to develop a new vaccine passport strategy which was also seen in other countries around the world. An app was created to facilitate an easy way to track people’s vaccination statuses. Once someone received two doses of the vaccine and 7 days had passed since they received their second dose, they were eligible to download the app. The app required people to enter their personal information in order to activate it. When a person finished setting up the app it would then display a bar code which could be easily scanned. This made it easier for various places of business to ensure someone was vaccinated.
As it stands now more and more provinces are moving to implement the vaccine passport system. Provinces like Ontario are set to soon release their version of the vaccine passport. Since this was left up to each province to decide how to handle the matter not everyone was quick to jump on board with the vaccine passport approach.
What it like today
Today all land-based casinos across the country have implemented various rules and regulations. While they all want to remain open, they must take health concerns and people’s safety as their top priority. Implementing rules like social distancing or limiting the number of people that sit at the same table. This was also applied to slot games where players are known to sit beside one another as slot machines are usually squeezed close to one another. All patrons must also wear a mask which needs to cover their mouth and nose. Even casino staff are now required to wear protective masks and gloves in order to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. In places like Quebec players will also need to present their vaccine passport otherwise they won’t be able to enter.
It seems like Covid-19 is here to stay for the meantime. Unfortunately, this has now become our new reality and it seems like it will remain this way for the foreseeable future. Therefore, rather than stay home people are complying and, in many provinces, they are encouraging people to make sure they get vaccinated to help the situation. Moving forward people will continue to socially distance and keep wearing masks indoors. Will next year be any better and will we finally be able to put this painful chapter in our lives behind us? Only time will tell but, in the meantime, we’ll keep playing with our masks on and keep some distance from one another.
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