Colorado Casinos Lift Table Game Restrictions
Players can now enjoy table games in Colorado after previous coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.
Like all the other states across the US, Colorado’s gaming industry has been vastly affected by the coronavirus. The casinos in the state shut down for three months in an effort to slow the spread, which led to a big financial hit for the industry. Workers were laid off or furloughed with no idea as to when they would get back to work. Eventually, the casinos reopened, but with restrictions, including no table games. This was an issue as it would lead to a continual revenue shortfall. Thankfully, some restrictions have been lifted as of this week and casinos can provide table games once again.
No Table Games
Back in June, Colorado lawmakers allowed the casinos to reopen based on strict guidelines. Slot machines were up and running but table games were a no go. Casinos could not offer blackjack and craps and these games are their high earners.
Slots were allowed because they are played by one person with an inanimate object. Table games were not allowed because there is a dealer and players. It is more difficult to make playing a table game safe due to the constant touching of chips, dice and cards.
Because of the lack of table games, one of the hardest hit regions was Gilpin County. This county relies on gaming to provide 85% of its budget. Gaming operators thought that table games might be allowed in two weeks after the launch but weeks came and went and it was then two months and still no table games.
Approving the Option
On September 8, the Department of Public Health and Environment approved three counties to move to a different level of the Protect Our Neighbors program. The guidelines are less strict in this level. The change was provided due to the counties meeting certain goals based on case numbers, the capacity of testing and health care.
Gilpin was chosen to loosen restrictions along with Rio Blanco and Mesa County. Casinos in these areas can now offer table games. This includes cities like Black Hawk, which are huge gambling towns. Gaming facilities are putting new ideas in place to help keep players safe from the virus as it is easily spread.
Some operators are using techniques that allow them to be touch-free when it comes to gaming cards. Like with blackjack, only one version of the game is being allowed via the operator Monarch. In the game, the first card is dealt face up like the other face-up cards. This way, the only person handling the cards is the dealer.
Players will not find table games like pai gow poker as they require the player to touch the cards. Operators are opting to not offer table games where the players will have to handle the cards in order to avoid the virus spread.
Every table game will have hand sanitizer on hand and players will be required to use it before they start a new game. With craps games, players will find the dice are sanitized before another player takes a turn. Chips that involved in table games will be sanitized throughout the game day.
The precautions are just an addition to what the casinos are doing to create a safe environment. Staff members are tested for the virus on a regular basis and surfaces are cleaned frequently. Air circulation is increased in the hopes of quelling the virus. Everyone inside the facilities must wear a mask at all times.
As the table games start back up, dealers are happy to be back at work. The casinos are bringing back table game dealers after months of being off as they begin offering the games once again.