Sanitation in Gaming: Opening Back Up After COVID-19  

Sanitation in Gaming: Opening Back Up After COVID-19  

Many states are starting to remove the isolation policies that dictated closures for businesses, as the COVID-19 virus seemingly recesses during the summer. The gaming industry was hit significantly by the business closures, and even today, casino and game rooms remain empty. From the large casinos of Las Vegas, Nevada to off-track betting, race tracks, and small riverboat casinos throughout America, gaming markets have felt the significant impact of the COVID-19 virus on business, and they will need to change their operating measures to get back to normal.

Heightened Sanitation Procedures

As casinos and gaming businesses get ready to open back up for the first time this summer, all will have to deal with the new reality of sanitation measures and procedures mixed in with the gaming atmosphere. In official actions, the terms and conditions that a casino operates under will have to change.

Gambling by nature can have numerous physical exchanges and interactions between screens, buttons, cards, chips, or dice, all of which can pose a threat to spreading the Coronavirus. Joint surfaces are shared between players as they go back and forth between games, and this can pose a significant risk in the post-COVID-19 world.

An establishment’s failure to take seriously COVID-19 and hygiene safety measures can also affect its business performance. Customers now have a heightened sensitivity to the actions of the businesses that they patronize, and they expect a level of sanitation and safety to be maintained. A business that does not have proper health measures in place could lose business or, even worse, be the cause of outbreaks in the future.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairwoman, Sandra Douglass Morgan, stated that the state of Nevada is going to require significant health measures before allowing casino licenses to re-open. This warning from the Gaming Control Board Chairwoman should be a very real sign that business will not continue as usual. The best way for the gaming industry to prove that it is ready to resume business is to demonstrate heightened sanitation procedures built into its gaming operations.

Gambling with Your Health

A 2019 study conducted by Dr. Edward G. Keown, commissioned by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), determined that the casino environment, consisting of employees and customers, can present a significant risk for exposure to infectious diseases. The study focused on the bacterial diseases present on casino gaming chips.

Casino gaming chips are the currency inside casinos and exchange hands between gamblers and the house continuously without sanitation. Casinos prefer to use the gambling chips because their portability and bright colors entice gamers to play more and spend more in the casino. These chips are a significant source of bacteria and microorganisms which can be easily passed from one person to the next. The National Environmental Health Association study found that used chips had a statistically significant amount of pathogenic contaminants and even higher than normal presences of E. Coli.

Navigating the Current Climate for Casinos

Casinos, riverboats, and gaming halls will all need to update their procedures and policies to reflect the current COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst this time of confusion and isolation, however, novel solutions arise to both spur business and mitigate health exposure. Many casinos have already made the switch to house debit cards that act as virtual gambling chips to carry the balance of the players. These cash cards don’t need to exchange hands frequently like a poker chip, and they can serve the same function.

Some casinos may not have the capital available to make major changes to gameplay like cash cards. So these businesses will need to focus on sanitation practices to mitigate viral spread. The most common sanitation actions practiced by other businesses are wiping down surfaces, service personnel wear masks and gloves, and maintaining social distancing between guests. Likely gone are the days of a packed casino table following a hot streak of luck. Casinos will need to enforce social distancing practices on the gambling floor and will need to train individuals responsible for sanitizing down surfaces between players.

The challenge is what sanitizers to use and when. Products for sanitation and disinfection generally come in two categories. Water-based and alcohol-based. Both can be fantastic solutions for large scale sanitation and disinfection, however, when sanitation time is of the essence, and sensitive electronics are nearby (like slots, or touchscreen gaming) alcohol-based sanitizer wins the hand every time.

Goodway offers simple and effective solutions for casinos and gaming businesses to maintain new health standards and practices in their facilities. Goodway’s alcohol-based BioSpray® Sanitation System is an industrial and commercial cleaning product that is an excellent tool for maintenance and cleaning plans. The portable BioSpray system is easily wheeled around gaming floors and applies alcohol-based sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing solutions that can reach multiple areas at once dry quickly and are safe on sensitive electronics.

Next Steps:

Learn more about BioSpray®.

Learn more about BioSpray® D2 Sanitizer.

Contact a Goodway Representative to help find your best solution.

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