Casino Barcelona Sets Blueprint as Doors Reopen

Casino Barcelona reopened just in time for the summer rush, but those in charge aren’t willing to gamble with peoples’ health.

Casino Barcelona

Casino Barcelona is open, and face masks are mandatory as it works to combat the spread of coronavirus. (Image: Twitter/Casino Barcelona)

As casinos across Europe and the US open their doors, Barcelona’s betting hotspot started welcoming players again last week with a raft of safety measures in place.

Number one on the casino’s 12-point checklist: masks. Learning from the triumphs and mistakes made in other regions, Casino Barcelona has made masks mandatory.

Covid-19 Screening for Everyone

The venue will also be screening visitors as they arrive. Staff members will use temperature guns to check people as they come through the door. Anyone displaying signs of infection will be denied access and told to return home.

Other covid-19 prevention measures at Casino Barcelona include:

  • Social distancing markers
  • One person per elevator
  • Onsite guidance from members of staff
  • Hand sanitizer stations
  • Disposable tissues
  • Foot pedal trash cans
  • Regular disinfection of games and facilities
  • Divider screens at gaming tables
  • Constant ventilation and air change
  • Protective films on slot machines (changed after each use)

Casino Barcelona is taking a much more tentative approach than other European venues. The Czech Republic’s King’s Casino Rozvadov initially insisted its patrons wear facemasks. Since the government relaxed its guidelines, however, patrons are now free to play poker and other games without any protection.

Spain Not Gambling on Safety

The strategy is justified given Spain’s exposure to coronavirus. Although daily infection rates have dropped below 350, it’s still one of the worst-affected countries. At one time, Spain saw the highest number of infections in Europe.

As of June 25, 28,327 people are suspected to have died from COVID-19 in Spain. That’s the sixth-highest death toll in the world, and one the government doesn’t want to see increase now that Spain’s borders have reopened.

Tourism accounts for 15% of Spain’s GDP and the government has done everything in its power to salvage the summer. European travelers are welcome, but hotels and leisure facilities must be tough on safety.

Casino Barcelona is taking heed of the warnings, which means it’s unlikely to host live poker events for a while. However, with King’s Casino Rozvadov showing what’s possible if infection rates are controlled, it may not be long before tournaments return to Spain.

Lessons to be Learned from Casino Barcelona

The latest news should serve as a lesson to others. With Las Vegas casinos scrambling to implement new protections following a rise in infection rates, Casino Barcelona’s strategy could be used as a blueprint for those yet to reopen.

In the UK, gambling venues were expecting to reopen by July 4. That seems unlikely, however, as casinos aren’t included in the UK’s next phase of lockdown easing.

The delay may be a blessing in disguise. By watching how things play out in the US and Europe, British operators can take what works and discard what doesn’t.

Casino Barcelona bosses have taken a much lower-risk approach than the one adopted by their counterparts in Las Vegas. If this proves successful, it will serve as a guide not just for the UK, but for other casino operators around the world.

Daniel Smyth
Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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