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Baby Steps

Taking a thoughtful approach to safely reopening our industry

Baby Steps

Editor’s note: This column was written in the first week of May. For updates on the American Gaming Association’s most recent efforts, visit

No matter what challenges our industry faces, the health and safety of our customers and employees will always come first. We look forward to welcoming back the entire gaming community as we move toward reopening the industry.

Reopening our doors will require the collaboration of stakeholders across all levels of government and all facets of our industry. This includes following guidance from federal, state and local officials to understand the timetable for reopening and the measures that will ensure the safety of every customer and employee.

As industry leaders take steps to reopen, they’re taking every necessary precaution to prioritize safety. These will differ by jurisdiction and property, but include things like implementing social distancing measures, heightening sanitization protocols and using personal protective equipment. Some operators are looking to new technology, like thermal imaging cameras or new reservation systems that can improve the guest experience.

Reopening efforts are being tailored to the specific needs and regulations of each state and property. Individual casinos best understand how to manage and support their floors, back of house, staff and patrons, as well as how to ensure that social distancing and other safeguards are in place while still providing superior customer service.

The AGA is committed to being a resource throughout this reopening process, as we all continue to learn to operate in a new normal. This includes working closely with casino operators, regulators and other experts to implement stringent health and safety requirements while providing a positive experience for our patrons.

The AGA is also focused on providing research and resources to inform our members’ reopening plans and the public. Notably, we collaborated with travel industry groups on the development of health and safety guidance to help the hospitality industry navigate this new normal.

The guidance, reviewed by public health experts, focuses on six main areas for travel businesses:

  1. Adapt operations, modify employee practices, and/or redesign public spaces to help protect employees and customers.
  2. Implement touchless solutions where practical to limit the opportunity for virus transmission while also enabling a positive travel experience.
  3. Adopt and implement enhanced sanitation procedures specifically designed to combat the transmission of Covid-19.
  4. Promote health screening measures for employees, isolate workers with possible Covid-19 symptoms and provide health resources to customers.
  5. Establish a set of procedures aligned with CDC guidance should an employee test positive for Covid-19.
  6. Follow best practices in food and beverage service to promote the health of employees and customers.

Additionally, we’re tracking the reopening of casinos across the country so all those involved can stay informed.

There’s no doubt that the past few months have been some of the most challenging times our industry has seen. Getting the industry back on its feet will be a long and involved process, but our industry is committed to working together to make sure it’s done responsibly.

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