On Wednesday, the California Gambling Control Commission released guidelines to the cardrooms and casinos hosting outdoor gaming. Those guidelines released can be foundhere.
The guidelines were released with the approval of the California Department of Public Health. Parts of Southern California have been hit worse by the pandemic than other areas of California.
This has also driven even more intensity between the tribal casinos and the cardrooms in the state. Cardrooms have had to follow California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive orders and shutdown when cases spiked in the area.
The casinos, however, which are all run by California tribes, do not have to follow the Governor’s executive orders allowing them to remain open while their competitor cardrooms closed. This then drives more traffic to casinos if people are still willing to go out.
This has caused creativity with casinos and cardrooms moving people outdoors to bring in some revenue. In August, the first cardrooms began to move gaming outdoors, which proceeded with multiple casinos and cardrooms to follow.
Now, California has guidelines in place to make sure that these places of business do not become breeding grounds for COVID-19.
California Outdoor Gaming Guidelines
Although it is not a nationwide adopted thing, a majority of states are following the same protocols recommended by the CDC and their state governments.
All guests and employees must wear masks when being on the gaming grounds. Also, the casinos and cardrooms have specific mandatory workplace-specific COVID-19 plans. These plans are created by the individual casinos and cardrooms to help employees follow COVID-19 guidelines along with making sure guests are also following procedures.
The plans will also go into social distancing, disinfecting high-touch areas, and what to do if an outbreak occurs at their facility.
Outside of the safety action plans put in place by the cardrooms an casinos, the guidelines also go over on what to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. They also go into screening measures to make sure that guests do not show symptoms of the virus when entering.
The guidelines also go over screening and disinfecting procedures, which are basics the casinos and cardrooms need to cover. If they also want to add more procedures into their cleaning method, they can. High touch areas must also be cleaned regularly along with hand sanitizer stations placed throughout high traffic areas.
The biggest thing preached will be social distancing. This is something we have heard throughout quarantine, and the CDPH is making sure social distancing practices are happening between slot machines and table games.
Impact of Outdoor Gaming
The coronavirus has hit the state of California particularly hard over the last six months. The state has tried to open multiple times before having the close back down again.
The state budget is going to be facing a massive budget, and a lot of revenue comes from the gaming industry in the state. If cardrooms and casinos can reopen and use outdoor gaming as a way to generate profit, then it will help the state.
Now that guidelines are put in place by the California Department of Public Health with outdoor gaming, this should give a more clear picture of how cardrooms and casinos can run. The situation is not perfect, but being able to have some guests is better than no guests.