THE FUTURE OF CASINOS IN A POST-COVID-19 WORLD

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History takes note when incompatible perspectives align. When both the religious world and the gambling world came to a simultaneous conclusion that it was time to lock doors that were never intended to be locked, it was a clear beginning of an impactful paradigm shift.

It’s been two decades since Las Vegas last experienced a significant shift in how guests engage in the city. In 1999, a shift happened where revenue generated by nongaming amenities began to exceed casino floor revenue. A decade later, the American Gaming Association found that a remarkable 49% of Americans view the gaming industry favorably––which means that there are likely over 124 million adult Americans asking themselves, “What is going to happen to our country’s casinos as they begin to reopen post-pandemic?”

With lockdowns and social distancing now being measured in months, rather than weeks, society has been eager to return to entertainment venues, such as casinos, as soon as properties reopen––hoping to emotionally and physically reconnect with an industry built on engagement. To prepare for this shift back to “normalcy,” industry leaders are actively exploring what the future holds for the gaming industry and how casinos will operate in a post-pandemic world. This boils down to everything from how people will feel about being in close proximity to others, how cleaning protocols and social distancing guidelines will be executed and enforced, along with the ways in which we can keep the spirit of the gaming industry alive. After all, gaming is a world that thrives on social interaction; while it caters to a demographic that is not always averse to risk, it is the industry’s responsibility to ensure that safety is a top priority.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE BY BOB GDOWSKI IN THE FALL 2020 EDITION OF GAMING & LEISURE MAGAZINE.

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