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HOME > STRATEGY > Strategies & Tips > Ask the Slot Expert: What do you think will be different when casinos reopen?

Ask the Slot Expert: What do you think will be different when casinos reopen?

13 May 2020

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

Are you freaked out because you still can't get Clorox or another brand of wipes?

Many products are effective against SARS-CoV-2, the name of the virus that causes the Covid-19 disease. The EPA has compiled List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. According to text on the site, all of the products on the list meet the EPA's criteria for use against the virus, but it is a little confusing that only some of the entries mention human coronavirus specifically.

You can also make your own disinfectant by diluting bleach. And good ol' soap and water is also effective.

As states relax some of their restrictions -- most despite not meeting the criteria set by the CDC to do so -- and we get contradictory messages from Washington D.C.'s politicians and scientists (hint: listen to the scientists), it's important to know the level of risk of infection with various activities. Dr. Erin Bromage, who teaches at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, began looking at Covid-19 in January to use as an example in his class on infectious diseases. He discusses the results of his research in this blog post, The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them.

He repeats what Dr. David Price said in this video, which I mentioned about a month ago. Risk of infection is based on dose and time. You don't have much risk from the maskless jogger passing you on your walk. Nor do you have much risk in the grocery store. The stores have a large volume of air and you don't spend much time in them. Grocery store workers, on the other hand, have a much greater risk. They spend much more time in that air and have a greater opportunity to get an infectious dose. Wear a mask in all retail outlets to protect the people who work there.

Don't be like this rather poorly informed woman. Scroll down a bit to see her holding a sign that has a surgical mask in the universal prohibited sign (red circle, diagonal slash) and says, "My Body, My Choice". Um, you wear the mask to protect other people, not yourself. It's their health, your choice.

Dr. Bromage discusses how the air conditioning in a restaurant in Guangzhou, China spread the virus. You can read the CDC's report on the outbreak here. The people at the same table as and downwind of the infected person showed a much higher infection rate than others in the restaurant.

Not only the air in a restaurant can spread the disease. One case of human-to-human transmission was traced to a shared salt shaker in a company lunchroom. Apparently no one else in the lunchroom with the infected person caught the virus and the person who did sat back-to-back with the infected person, so it was unlikely that the virus passed through the air. The only contact the person had with an infected person was sharing a salt shaker.

There were reports last week that the White House shelved a CDC report that included new guidance on re-opening schools, restaurants, bars, etc., because it was "overly prescriptive." Several media outlets were able to obtain a 17-page CDC document that is an extract of the more comprehensive 60-page report. The guidance for restaurants and bars begins on page 12.

The document recommends that we continue bans on user-supplied food and beverage containers (e.g., Starbucks refillable cups, my Cinemark refillable drink cup and popcorn tub). Some new changes include: disposable menus, a return to single-serving condiment packets, disinfecting everything on a table between diners, and a greater use of disposable utensiles and dishes.

The document doesn't address buffets. I originally thought that buffets could reopen with buffet workers serving food so customers would never touch the serving utensiles. Customers would have to distance themselves while waiting at a food service station.

I hadn't thought about the fact that many people aren't keen on eating food that has been sitting out in the open and may have been exposed to the virus by an unmasked diner, despite there being no evidence yet of foodborne transmission.

There's a lot of background information. What do you think? How long will it be before you're comfortable eating at a buffet again?

What do you think the casino experience will be like when the casinos reopen? I think this virus spells the end of trick-or-treating. Do you think any part of the casino experience will become a thing of the past?

How about self-service kiosks? Would you rather sanitize your hands after touching a kiosk's screen or be completely contact-free at the booth?

Should everyone in a casino, workers and patrons, wear a mask? How close to you want to be to the dealer or another patron? Do you want plastic barriers between you and other patrons?

Some casinos are very smoky, indicating that they have poor ventilation systems. Will you go back to a casino like that?

What will it take for you to be comfortable going back to a casino?

Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at slotexpert@slotexpert.com. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

Copyright © John Robison. Slot Expert and Ask the Slot Expert are trademarks of John Robison.

John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming's leading publications. Hear John on "The Good Times Radio Gaming Show," broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoons. You can listen to archives of the show online anytime.

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