UNITED STATES—The entertainment industry has suffered from COVID-19 lockdown like no other. Most of the world’s population hasn’t been to a concert in months, and cinemas are only beginning to welcome movie-goers. The same goes for casinos. While many states are easing quarantine restrictions, few casinos are ready to accept visitors without serious precautions, such as limited attendance, face masks, and extended sanitation practices. As important as it is to revive the business, people’s safety comes first.
However, the situation is different in California, including Hollywood. Because of extremely high numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases, Governor Gavin Newsom can’t follow other states’ examples and allow casinos to reopen. He tried to before, in June. Several of Hollywood’s casinos opened their doors to gamblers again. However, the revival was short-lived. All casinos were shut down again in July because COVID-19 resurged. Currently, it is almost impossible to visit a land-based casino in California; most gamblers have to go to other places, such as Las Vegas. Alternatively, online casinos are always a safe and reliable option.
Is It Possible to Visit a Casino in Hollywood?
Sure, an online casino is not the same as a land-based one. The former may be a convenient option, but not an equally thrilling one. Providers of online casino games in the US can have a fantastic RTP, a wide selection of games, and an outstanding support team. What they can’t, though, is to convey the unique atmosphere of a land-based casino through the screen.
So, it’s not surprising that Californian gamblers are frustrated with the local government: while most of the country is recovering from months-long lockdown, it’s nowhere near over in California. No major casino in Hollywood (or the entire Los Angeles, for that matter) welcomes visitors at the moment. After brief reopening in June, casinos were shut again starting July 1, 2020. Some of them, including the industry leaders akin to Crystal Casino, Hustler Casino, and The Bicycle Hotel & Casino, welcome travelers in hotels and for a night of fine dining, but the actual casino halls remain unattainable.
And yet, every experienced gambler knows that there is always a loophole, no matter how hopeless the circumstances may seem. That’s just the universal truth. If you are dying to touch the roulette table after dreaming of it for months, there’s one option that Governor Newsom has no control over. The thing is, the casinos that are located on the territories controlled by tribal governments are outside Newsom’s jurisdiction. They do not have to obey the Governor’s order to shut down, so they don’t.
As a result, Californian gamblers do have places to go if they can’t wait any longer. Some of the recently opened tribal casinos include Pechanga Resort Casino, Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Placer County, Morongo Casino Resort in Riverside County, and San Manuel Casino in San Bernardino County. Despite their unwillingness to follow Newsom’s recommendations, the owners of tribal casinos are concerned with their clients’ safety. They follow limited capacity requirements, have body temperature screenings, and require visitors to wear masks. If you can’t take another month without visiting a land-based casino and would like to avoid going too far from Los Angeles to do so, go for it. Pechanga Resort Casino is definitely worth a visit.
What Are the Precautions/Safety Measures?
No valet parking. For safety reasons, even the casinos that used to offer valet parking services now require all guests to self-park.
Mandatory face coverings. All guests are required to wear a face mask; obviously, the same goes for employees. Guests are allowed to lower their masks to eat and drink while in the casino restaurant or bar.
Temperature scanners. Most casinos have touch-free temperature scanners at all entrances. Both guests and employees are required to use them every time they enter the building. Everyone with the body temperature above 100.4 F is not allowed inside.
Physical distancing. All common areas inside the casino, including halls, playing rooms, restaurants, and bars, have the floor marked with stickers reminding visitors that they have to keep a six-feet distance from one another. In the slot machine area, every other slot machine is deactivated to increase the distance between players.
Plastic glass partitions. Plastic glass partitions are installed at the hotel check-in, between ATMs, and in many other places. Most importantly, they ensure guests’ and employees’ safety during table games (partitions separate the dealer from players and all players from one another).
Reduced capacity. Fewer guests are allowed in the casino at the same time, and the seating capacity of restaurants and bars is reduced significantly. Most casinos require guests who would like to eat at the restaurant to make a reservation in advance.
So, Is It Safe to Visit a Land-Based Casino Now?
The short answer is “no more or less safe than going out in general.” Sure, it’s best to limit contact with other people and avoid public places altogether. But if you feel a nervous breakdown coming, just go enjoy a good night of gambling and don’t stress over it.