With health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization advising people to avoid close contact with others and crowded spaces, safety protocols are particularly vital for indoor entertainment venues.
By the time this article is released, it’s possible that some safety protocols will not be required. With that said, as an organization, if we state we believe in certain safety measures, then it is critical that we adhere to them … as it is not only today we’re dealing with, it’s setting expectations and building trust for the days and months to follow.
As of July 2, 84% of casinos are open or 827, including the Las Vegas Strip. (Visit AmericanGaming.Org for latest figures)
Since casinos have reopened, I have reviewed several different properties and noticed that many of the original steps that were being taken or promised, are being diligently adhered to. Remember: this is about customer optics as much as safety! I’ve listed different safety protocols and examples of ordinary, good and extraordinary measures to make our guests feel safe.
Creating a 6’ foot separation between each guest lined up to enter the property is the requirement. Some properties no longer have signs posted to remind people to social distance while they are waiting in line. This also includes reminding guests to wear masks.
Ordinary: Letting guests form their own distances based upon their own concerns.
Good: Signage reminding guests that “Social distancing saves lives and allows us to remain open.”
Extraordinary: Markings on floor, adequate signage showing proper social distancing examples and team members reinforcing the expectations.
The guidance from the CDC and many states indicates that all team members must wear masks through phase three. Wearing masks means that they are worn properly. I have noticed that many team members are getting relaxed in the proper wearing of their personal protective equipment. Masks are often worn under the chin, with the nose exposed or just hanging from the ear as a sign of defiance or frustration with the policy. Masks, if required for team members, must be worn properly and must be enforced by your Covid-19 Safety Team (C-19ST) or leadership. The optics say that if team member isn’t wearing their mask properly or at all then why should I be careful. Worse … this property is not protecting its guests, making them feel uncomfortable and may lose confidence in the safety of the casino.
Ordinary: Much of the team members wearing masks, some on their face. Guests self-adhering to the requirements.
Good: All team members wearing masks and guests advised that wearing masks are highly recommended by the CDC for flattening the curve and keeping businesses open.
Extraordinary: All team members, including management, are in masks and signage at entrances requesting all guests to wear masks and showing method for wearing the masks properly.
Super ExtraOrdinary: Property handing out logoed masks from the casino.
The veracity that was originally shown in the beginning has waned. This is important to maintain consistent effort for healthy environments and for the optics of our guests. The C-19ST needs to ensure that proper cleaning is maintained.
Ordinary: The property is clean … enough for 2019 standards.
Good: The property is cleaned on a frequent basis, after X amount of guests have used or moved through the space.
Extraordinary: Cleaning team on-hand to sanitize after every guest has used a space and before the next guest.
Many properties still don’t use plexiglass barriers enough, in the correct locations or at all. Having the proper barriers in locations where guests tend to linger longer or have more detailed conversations with team members is required. Please review the locations that are required to have fixed barriers and make a plan to install. This is an important optical and a way to protect your team as well.
Ordinary: Installed plexiglass at cashier stands and high volume interaction areas.
Good: Plexiglass and partitions in all interaction areas, including rest rooms, cashier stations, customer service areas and food venues.
Extraordinary: Above barriers AND partitions at each machine, between each seat at table games and complete elimination of face-to-face interaction by any team member without a plexiglass barrier.
Signage and Markings
It is a simple addition to make marks on the floor and remind guests about social distancing. Positive messages that reiterate that these measures both protect them and allow the casino to remain open for play. Many casinos still show stagnant or old messages that haven’t addressed cleaning or social distancing at all. There are some casinos who clearly are embracing this with cute messages and “dots” on the floor for direction and communication.
Ordinary: Static signs at entrances listing Covid-19 requirements.
Good: Signage in designated areas, at each transition and at key service points.
Extraordinary: Interactive signage throughout, with creative marketing for keeping the message going. Floor, ceiling and video signage with positive messages about what “we are doing to protect you during this pandemic”.
There are many issues we are focused on; however, guest safety and the safety of our teams must remain a focus if we are going to continue to be able to offer gaming and hospitality moving forward. Try to remain diligent and move areas that are not extraordinary towards improved performance. Your guests and your bottom line will appreciate it.