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Top 10 COVID-19 casino rules and etiquette tips

21 September 2020

The casino world got tipped upside down back in March when the COVID-19 outbreak forced most every gaming property to shut its doors. As many began reopening in the early stages of the summer, guest and team member safety were taken into account, which led to new protocols. Obviously these protocols do not work as well as they should if people are not following them properly. So here, we take a look at the new rules at casinos and how to abide by them to keep casinos up and running.

10. Riding in elevators
When staying at or visiting a resort, the use of elevators is commonplace. That being said, adjusting to the way of life during COVID-19 is important for all to do. If you are going to be using elevators, don’t ignore the rules.

If you and your group are going to the elevators to get to your room or whatever you need to go, use it with just your group. Don’t hop into an elevator to get to your destination quicker if it is already occupied.

The only people that should be in the elevator with you are the people you are traveling with. It may take an extra minute or so to wait for the next ride -- or to take the stairs -- but it is the responsible thing to do, which is why many resorts have made it a rule to only use them with people in your party.

9. Washing hands frequently
This sounds like something simple to do, but the reason we are bringing it up is because of the importance behind it. Washing your hands throughout the day while the fear of coronavirus is still among us is crucial.

You could be walking away from a gambling session at the tables, leaving a restaurant/bar or exiting from watching a game in the sportsbook. Wash your hands. Basically my own personal rule of thumb has become after an activity, of any sort, I then proceed to find a spot to wash my hands.

It not only keeps myself at a lower risk, but lowers the risk of others around me at my next activity.

8. Hand sanitizing stations
Following up on washing hands, resorts that have reopened their doors have set up hand sanitizing stations throughout the properties to emphasize cleaning hands to guests and employees.

OYO Casino & Hotel is reopening on 30 September and is just one of the many examples of properties that are placing touchless hand sanitizing stations in public places.

7. Be respectful of others
One of the more important things to ensure during current times is to make sure that you are not making anyone else around you uncomfortable.

When you are in public places, ensuring that everyone feels safe and secure is the top priority for any venue.

That being said, when you are searching for a table game to sit at, don’t hover over anyone seeing how the cards are coming out. Keep your space, especially since maintaining a six-foot distance between you and anyone else is a requirement at resorts.

Basically, if you have to think about whether or not something is allowed or if it would make someone uncomfortable, you probably should avoid doing whatever that is.

6. Stick to your group
This item sort of piggybacks off of the elevator rule but it can go much further than that as well. For example, in a sportsbook if you see a group of fans sitting together watching a game, don’t hop in a seat too close to them if you are not with them. Most venues are social distancing seats anyway, but for those that have seats for your party to sit in, stick to those rules.

Put yourself in their shoes, if you and your friends were watching a game and someone sat too close to you it could potentially ruin your good time with the sense of comfort gone.

These are unprecedented times still and until we get back to the normal lives we used to have we have to adjust our everyday behavior.

5. Temperature checks
Another common protocol that has been put in place at pretty much every resort since reopening is temperature checks for anyone entering the property. Anyone with a fever of over 100 degrees will not be permitted entry and that is the smart call.

On the other hand, it is still up to those going to the resorts to make the correct call. If you are feeling ill or not well in any form, then take others’ health into consideration and stay home. You may be able to get passed the temperature check depending on what you are feeling but that isn’t the point. The point of the temperature check is to keep everyone safe and to avoid taking any chances of spreading COVID-19.

4. Cashless gaming
Many casinos are turning to cashless gaming to avoid the handling of money at the tables. For example, Station Casinos in Las Vegas recently implemented PlayOn Cashless Table Game Solution, a cashless payments technology that allows players to purchase casino chips using their debit card at the game.

"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.

3. Less contact with casino objects
The cashless gaming option is one way that casinos and resorts have started to limit the amount of objects that need to be touched so guests can feel safer. For example, mobile check-in and cards to your hotel room can be accessed on your phone so there is no need to check-in at the front test and be in a highly populated area.

According to MGM Resorts’ Seven-Point Plan, “Guests will have the ability to complete the check-in process entirely themselves through the MGM Resorts mobile app. This includes the ability to process payment, verify identification and obtain a digital room key, all through a mobile device.”

2. Plexiglass barriers
If guests do want to check-in with a person at the desk they are more than welcome to at resorts, but a plexiglass barrier will separate the employee and visitor to add safety.

Head over to the casino floor and you will see even more plexiglass barriers. Table games are limiting the number of players per table and separating each player by a barrier.

For example, Wynn Las Vegas announced that the Wynn Poker Room will be reopening on 30 September with a new look. Eight players will be the maximum for each table and, you guessed it, each seat will have a plexiglass barrier between them.

1. Face coverings
I am sure you all have had experiences with them and see them on a daily basis. The requirement for face masks are no different at resorts than in your local towns and cities. When it is not possible to socially distance yourself, a face covering is required for guests and team members. So really some of the only times you are not needing a face covering is when you are in your hotel room or at a table inside a restaurant eating or drinking.

If you do not have your own face covering when arriving or simply just forget to bring yours, the property will be able to provide one you can still abide by the most common safety protocol in today’s society.
Top 10 COVID-19 casino rules and etiquette tips is republished from
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, 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, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.