Contributor: Charlie Padre
Just like many other industries, casinos have suffered greatly since mass gatherings of any kind pose dangers to both employees and customers. Now that governments around the world are easing coronavirus restrictions, casinos are set to reopen again.
As health experts have continuously reminded, social distancing is the most practical way to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Community lockdowns were imposed while industries that are deemed as non-essential are forced to pause their operations.
The gambling industry was no exception. As sports leagues put a hold on their events last March, the betting industry was hit hard. This also reached brick-and-mortar casinos across the globe, where many casino doors were closed in line with the nationwide lockdowns.
Which casinos are reopening?
After more than three months in quarantine, coronavirus restrictions are easing around the world. Businesses and entertainment venues are slowly coming back, and this includes casinos reopening.
European countries like Greece, Croatia and Portugal have already started reaching out to tourists. Germany is among the first countries that opened their casinos in May. On the other hand, countries such as France, Latvia, Bulgaria, Austria, and Switzerland have already reopened casinos since the start of June. Some casinos that are already operational:
Europe Hotel & Casino (Bulgaria)
Grand Casino Luzern (Switzerland)
Casino Partouche de Hyères (France)
Vulkan Casino (Germany)
Merkur Spielothek (Germany)
Casino Constance (Germany)
Spielbank Stuttgart (Germany)
Brick-and-mortar casinos will be reopening in Belgium from July 1 as part of Phase 4 of the country’s accessibilities. In the UK, casinos can resume operations on July 4 as part of the third and final phase of the government’s plans to ease the restrictions.
Some of the casinos reopening in July include:
Casino Brussels (Belgium)
Casino Oostende (Belgium)
Grand Casino de Namur (Belgium)
Aspers Casino (UK)
Les Croupiers (UK)
Park Lane Casino (UK)
Hippodrome Casino (UK)
Rainbow Casino (UK)
Grosvenor Casino Leo (UK)
Dutch casinos, however, will only be allowed to operate from September 1 due to the Dutch government’s decision to prolong the forced closure of land-based gambling establishments.
Which casinos are reopening elsewhere?
In Asia, some casinos closed for a shorter period such as those in Macau, the world’s biggest gambling hub. After being closed for two weeks, casinos in Macau reopened on February 19 with strict health tests and guidelines.
Non-essential businesses including brick-and-mortar casinos have already resumed their operations from May 8 in Vietnam. However, with casino entrance limited to foreign passport holders, Vietnam expects tourists in greater numbers from July 1 when electronically-generated entry visas are available.
On June 18, Resorts World Kijal and Resorts World Langkawi in Malaysia have reopened only non-gaming venues. The Malaysian casinos hope to open their doors by September.
Singapore-based casino resorts Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa are also gradually opening some facilities from June 19 as the city-state proceeded with phase two from its safety countermeasures.
Meanwhile, the closure of land-based casinos has not been lifted yet in Cambodia after they were forced to temporarily cease operations since April.
In the US, casinos have started to welcome guests back since the first week of June. After more than 70 days shut down to guests, Las Vegas is back with a different look as every possible precaution is observed.
Since June 4, the 4-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard, where casinos like the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Flamingo Las Vegas, the Venetian and Wynn Las Vegas are located, have been gradually filling in with tourists again.
In New Jersey, casinos are set to reopen at a 25% capacity on July 2 to meet the demand on the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. The operation limit is planned by the local government to help curb the spread of the virus along with stringent measures including increased hand sanitizers and social distancing.
Casinos reopening – health and safety guidelines
Despite restrictions being lifted, casinos still have to observe health and safety guidelines imposed by their respective governments to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
As countries transition from community lockdowns to the “new normal”, the cooperation and disciple of everyone is crucial to make sure that the COVID-19 cases will not spike up once again.
The “new normal” in casino reopenings will include dealers wearing masks behind plexiglass shields, countless sanitizers for both chips and hands, contactless payments, and even cashless transactions.
Effects of COVID-19 onto the gambling industry
Even well-known casinos in the world’s largest gambling hubs were forced to close for at least two weeks when the outbreak was at its peak.
As a result, casinos had to battle losses caused by the coronavirus lockdown. According to the latest projections, the global gambling gross for 2020 will end up below 2012 levels, undoing 8 years of continuous growth.
With no income, casinos will be forced to close for good. Genting Casino is reported to permanently close 3 outlets (Torquay, Bristol and possibly in Margate) with job losses across its remaining 29 sites across the UK.
Because of these closures, casino-related trends began to rise on the internet. Particularly in the UK, sports betting search keywords declined from February to April. The most significant decline rates record as 41% for “Best Betting Sites” and 33% for “Sports Betting UK”.
Could online casinos be a safer and better alternative?
Do you miss the fun and excitement of casinos? Although casinos are reopening, it’s recommended to still avoid mass gatherings and keep a safe distance from one another due to the risks of COVID-19.
An alternative to brick-and-mortar casinos is online casinos! Said to be the future of gambling, gaming at home is not just a great alternative to avoid going outside. Online casinos are also safe to use with many great benefits and rewards to reap.
Some advantages of online casinos
With online casinos, you can enjoy the safety and comfort of your home. You don’t have to worry about travel limitations or the possible health hazards of visiting casinos that are reopening.
Different casino games with free play options
Online casinos offer free play games no matter what kind of casino game you want to play. You can spin the reels of uniquely different slots or strategise your way to winning at any table game.
At Bitcasino, we pride ourselves on being fun, fast and fair, with a host of games from well-known providers. Miss the atmosphere of a casino? You can also play live casino games at Bitcasino like Bombay Club Blackjack 2 where you can interact with dealers and fellow players!
There’s also a wide variety of free play games available for you to play at home, such as Hammer of Fortune, Fishing War or Crazy Time. With the fun mode option, you even get to try out the casino games that interest you without any risk of spending and losing money.
Take part in online casino promos, tournaments and rewards
Aside from free play games, you can also have a great time on online casinos to win huge payouts and jackpots from promos, tournaments and rewards. Setting up an account can allow you to accumulate rewards and bonuses from online casinos.
Take advantage of Bitcasino’s Loyalty Club promo when you sign up for an account. You can get free spins, cashback, instant rewards, point multipliers, and exclusive discounts. A Bitcasino account is also useful to personalise your gaming experience!
What’s more, online casinos like Bitcasino offer tournaments that you can opt into! From highest win multiplier to total bet count, tournaments in online casinos are a fun way to play against other players around the world.
Access more payment methods
Brick-and-mortar casinos traditionally accept cash only. With online casinos, you can choose the payment option that is most convenient for you. In fact, you can even use cryptocurrency!
At Bitcasino, we’re the world’s Bitcoin-only license casino! We currently accept different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Tron (TRX), and Ripple (XRP).
Our crypto transactions are fair and fast – your funds are instantly credited to your Bitcasino account. Therefore, you can have more time having fun rather than worrying about payment and withdrawal transactions.
Casinos reopening – do take precaution
While there may be casinos reopening now with the easing of coronavirus restrictions, you might be tempted to visit your favourite casino. However, as it’s important to make your health and safety a priority, do make sure to have fun responsibly and consider alternatives to being at a casino in person!