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HOME > > The New World Casinos

The New World Casinos

12 January 2021

By Frank Scoblete

The coronavirus has severely attacked our health and welfare. Our society has been closed with the exception of “essential workers” and while many states have initiated openings of some businesses, the impact on our economy has been devastating.

I live in New York which has about half of the registered deaths as I write this column. I know people who have been sick and I know people who have died. In a few short months this beast has swept through the country the way a broom would sweep out the garbage from a room. Unfortunately we were the garbage being swept away.

At one point we had 30 million people unemployed. That is an outrageous number. Yes, a microscopic virus, an invisible enemy of enormous power, had the ability to do that. Several hundreds of thousands of people died and most of us hungrily await a vaccine to level the playing field between us and “it.”

Even if businesses have reopened, the effects of the virus are strongly felt. People practice social distancing as the norm; offices have arranged their space to keep this social distancing in place as well. Fewer hands are shaken and I have taken up bowing to other people when I meet them. Many people are still wearing masks in public.

Events garnering large crowds are verboten. Plays, movies, sporting events, concerts, schools and other crowd-favorable activities are still not fully allowed. Our world is open but at the same time it is also closed. It’s the new world order.

And what about our favored world; that is, the world of the casino? The impact of the coronavirus is affecting them more strongly than their house edge affects the players.

The new world of games will be nothing like the old world and, unless a powerful vaccine is created, that old casino world might never return again. The question here is a truly simple one: What if the casinos opened and nobody came to play?

Even on the weekdays most casinos have plenty of people playing the machines and the table games. On the weekends casinos are packed with players. Social distancing is next to impossible in such environments. And picture a casino landscape where the patrons are all wearing masks. That is some strange vision isn’t it?

So what does a casino have to do in order to have a chance to survive? First off, casinos that are fairly close to the line of losing their property or properties are probably going to close. The hit on them will probably be too much for them to take.

And of the others? The casinos will have to be radically remodeled. As I see it, all the table games will have to be removed from the floor. Just look at them:

• blackjack tables have people shoulder to shoulder with the dealer about two feet from the farthest player

• a full craps table will have players crammed in; even relatively empty craps tables will have players too close to each other and/or the dealers; the box person might be three feet away from the players

• Pai Gow Poker is the same as blackjack as are the mini-baccarat tables, almost all of the carnival games, and roulette, even at an empty table, would be hard to keep a player six feet from the dealer

Now the big question is whether slots and video poker machines can be played in the new world casino. Can they fit? Take a look at slot and video poker placement now and you see aisles crammed with slot or video poker machines one after another after another. You are lucky if they are a foot or two apart.

I think we can have some major tweaks in how they are placed. First of all, the row upon row of closely packed machines has got to go. If we are following the social distancing advice then no machine can be closer than six feet from another machine. The slot aisles themselves have to maintain distancing too. How do you do these things?

Aisles can be like one-way streets. This aisle goes this way; that aisle goes the other way. So everyone in that first aisle walks in the same direction and everyone in the other aisle walks in the other direction.

Machines have to be placed six-feet apart but there is no law (of which I know) that says a casino can’t put another floor on top of the main floor with more machines. Sure, the ceiling won’t be so high but the casino can get in many more machines this way.

Plexiglass should surround the area where each player sits. These cubicles should be large enough for the players to be at least six feet from the player in the next cubicle. Employees should wipe down every machine that has just been played.

Many casino-hotels have conference rooms but conferences will not be happening very much. These rooms can become slot and video poker rooms. Theaters too can be converted to slot and video poker games.

Now the spaces that had been allocated for table games can still have a range of table games in them – electronic table games! You can have just about every table game in its electronic form, perfectly separated by enough feet but with the look (perhaps not the feel) of the regular game. This might be about the best thing that can happen for those games; at least they will be played by table-game aficionados.

I have little doubt that we are entering a new world of casinos.

All the best in and out of the (new) casinos!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best-selling gaming author in AmericaFrank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books include Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! and Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players.

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