As the number of positive COVID-19 cases decrease in Indiana, restrictions regarding the virus are lessened. This week, we have learned that casinos in the state can now allow players to eat, drink, and smoke while on the gaming floor. The Governor recently made this change in the state and most casinos are back to normal operations in this regard.
Back to Some Sense of Normalcy
The Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg announced this week that it is now adhering to the new protocols and allowing players to eat, have drinks, or smoke while playing at the slot machines. The casino went live with the changes yesterday at 2 pm.
Other casinos in the state are also getting in on the changes. Some are offering players the opportunity to partake in food, drink, and smoking only at the slots, while others have designated areas for the option. Masks must be worn though when players are not taking part in any of these activities.
The Indiana Grand Racing & Casino announced on Facebook that they ask guests to wear a mask at all times. However, masks can be pulled down when eating, drinking, or smoking while in the appropriate area.
Will the Relaxed Restrictions Help or Harm the Industry?
The changes were made to the restrictions due to the lowered number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state. For casinos, offering these options once again will help to bring in more business. Many players refused to visit due to the restrictions or visited for only a short period of time.
Now that smoking can be done indoors, along with dining and drinks, players will choose to visit and stay longer. This will help to bring in more revenues to an industry that has been lacking earnings for quite some time. Players have chosen not to visit casinos when they are unable to have a meal or enjoy drinks while playing games, which is the usual activity when at a gambling facility.
But will the change harm the industry? Will COVID-19 cases increase? The hope is that they will not. Patrons will hopefully follow the rules and the casinos will enforce them, ensuring that patrons are only taking their masks down when taking part in these activities.
Any increase in positive COVID-19 cases could result in restrictions reemerging, which would be detrimental to the industry. Any new closures or shutting down dining and drinking again would cause a decrease in tourism, which means fewer revenues.
Across the US, changes are being made to restrictions so that businesses like casinos can get back to work. Many states have changed their dining restrictions, allowing more people to gather inside restaurants. While capacity is not to 100%, states like New Jersey are changing restrictions to offering 50% capacity inside dining facilities and gaming floors.
Operators are hopeful that as the COVID-19 vaccine is given to more people and continued mask-wearing and social distancing takes place, the virus will start to become a memory instead of something we think about daily. This will help the industry to start the recovery process and welcome more guests.