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Casino City’s Friday Five: Welcoming back some, but not all casinos edition

21 August 2020

More casinos across the pond from the U.S. announced reopening dates. For Nevada, several resorts are fit to reopen, but some may not be able to come back from the losses that the COVID-19 closure had on them.

Before we get into that, let’s look at some sports betting numbers.

5. Pennsylvania sportsbooks surge with return of major sports
Pennsylvania's sportsbooks capitalized on the return of major sports to nearly double the handle from June to July, and the state's online casinos built momentum as the Keystone State's market continued to rebound in July.

Retail and online sportsbooks generated $164.8 million in wagers in July, up 85.1% from $89 million in June, according to official data. Gross revenue surged to $8.1 million, up 22.3% from $6.7 million in June and up 185.7% from $2.9 million in July 2019.

"The key for sports betting going forward is obviously the health of the various major sports leagues in the U.S.," said Valerie Cross, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. "We saw with the Phillies that the pandemic can abruptly alter the sporting landscape. And with college football in jeopardy this fall, and the NFL still working through its plans, the fall remains quite uncertain."

4. Station Casinos offers cashless gaming at Las Vegas properties
Automated Cashless Systems and Station Casinos announced that following the successful field trial at Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, the companies have agreed to roll out the PlayOn Cashless Table Game Solution across the Station Casinos network of properties in Las Vegas.

PlayOn is a cashless payments technology that allows players to purchase casino chips using their debit card at the game, a nice alternative to using cash at the table in this pandemic world we now live in.

"We continually look at ways to innovate and enhance the guest experience, including how guests access funds. Through PlayOn, we are able to offer a new, safe and convenient cashless option for the guest to purchase chips directly at the game," said John Pourciau, Station Casinos' Corporate Director of Finance and Treasury.

In addition to table games, ACS PlayOn possesses a full suite of cashless and contactless solutions that include slots, sportsbooks and poker rooms.

3. Scottish casinos to reopen their doors on 24 August
The Betting and Gaming Council has welcomed confirmation that Scottish casinos will reopen their doors on 24 August.

Casinos north of the border have been closed since March as part of the national effort to slow down the spread of the virus.

Since then they have worked round the clock to ensure their premises are safe to reopen for both staff and customers. Measures include Perspex screens, hand sanitizing stations, sophisticated track and trace regimes and strict social distancing guidelines.

This announcement follows the re-opening of casinos in England on 15 August.

2. TWiG: Some Las Vegas casinos may not survive COVID-19 closure
There is talk that some Las Vegas casinos will not survive after closing down for so long and may never reopen again.

Las Vegas casinos and the city itself are known for never sleeping, but several of its properties have had the lights turned off for nearly five months. A total of 11 properties owned by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Red Rock Resorts and Boyd Gaming have yet to reopen in Sin City.

Caesars executives revealed that the future of some properties remains uncertain. MGM Resorts has yet to reopen Park MGM. Red Rock properties still closed are Texas Station Gambling Hall and Hotel, Fiesta Henderson Casino Hotel, Fiesta Rancho Casino Hotel and Strip-adjacent The Palms Casino Resort.



1. The Mirage in Las Vegas to reopen next week
An MGM Las Vegas property that is scheduled to reopen is The Mirage. On 27 August, the iconic Las Vegas Strip resort will reopen to the public.

"As we have slowly and thoughtfully reintroduced our properties across the country, we have placed the health and safety of our guests and employees first at all times,” said Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ CEO and President. “Reopening The Mirage allows us to bring many more of our employees back to work, which is critical in the recovery of our community.”

Below are some of the safety protocols implemented at MGM properties:

Employee screening, temperature checks and COVID-19 specific training are required.

COVID-19 testing for employees will be mandatory as they return to work in partnership with the local medical community.

Employees and guests are required to wear masks. Complimentary masks are provided, to guests, as needed. A physical distancing policy has been implemented, with floor guides serving as reminders.

For areas where physical distancing presents challenges, plexiglass barriers have been installed, or other measures will be used to reduce risks.

MGM Resorts did not say when it expects to reopen Park MGM Las Vegas, another one of its Strip locations that has remained closed.
Casino City’s Friday Five: Welcoming back some, but not all casinos edition is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.
Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.