NORTHBROOK, Ill.—July 1, 2020—In this edition of Straight Talk with Jeff Cross, Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on casinos and the gaming industry, which includes horse tracks, bingo halls, and any facility where you can place bets on the outcome of a game or event.

Many casinos began reopening at the beginning of June as some states entered the second phase of reopening. Dr. Macgregor-Skinner explains that the gaming control boards in most states issued detailed health guidelines for casinos to reopen, including measures like handwashing stations, the use of face masks and gloves, cleaning and disinfection protocols for high touchpoints, and enforcing physical distancing among staff and guests.

“The gaming control board guidelines for reopening for casinos are very specific in ensuring that the gaming operations do not compromise the health and safety of the employees or the patrons,” said Dr. Macgregor-Skinner.

The guidelines also require comprehensive training for casino employees on COVID-19 safety and disinfection protocols. “The ISSA GBAC Fundamentals Online Course for COVID-19, available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Italian, would help meet these requirements,” Dr. Macgregor-Skinner said.

According to Dr. Macgregor-Skinner, the “new normal” for casinos includes temperature checks for employees on arrival, proper PPE like gloves and face masks provided to employees free of charge, additional training for employees on COVID-19 safety, and physical markings and floor guides to help ensure guests maintain physical distance as they move through the casino. Casinos are also finding ways to use technology for contactless transactions, and capacity limits will certainly change the busy casino floors that most patrons and employees are accustomed to.

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