The new face of poker has revealed itself thanks to the recent home of the WSOPE, King’s Casino Rozvadov.
The integrated resort closed its doors on March 13 to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Its sister venues, King’s Casino Prague, and Admiral Casino Rozvadov, were also shuttered.
With infection rates in the Czech Republic falling, the government has started to ease national lockdown measures. King’s Casino Rozvadov has taken that as a green light to reopen its gaming floor, but not the resort as a whole.
King’s Casino Rozvadov 2.0
News of the return was made public last week. At the time, it wasn’t clear what systems would be in place to protect customers and employees.
When the doors were opened on May 11, the world at large was given an insight into what poker could be like for the foreseeable future. In addition to protecting its own interests, the rules may also serve as a blueprint for other casinos in Europe and the rest of the world.
King’s Casino Rozvadov Covid-19 Guidelines
– Facemasks are to be worn by everyone, in all areas of the casino.
– When a player leaves a poker or gaming table, or slot machine, the area will be disinfected before another player is allowed to sit down.
– Employees will wear face shields while in service. Spare shields will also be stored at reception and available on request.
– Restaurants will remain closed for the time being. However, a pop-up food cart will be located outside of the casino. Players can order food and drink, but must consume it outside.
– Food and drink won’t be allowed inside the casino. There will be a small selection of items available just off the gaming floor. These will be packaged items, sealed in plastic bags.
After 14 days, food and drink restrictions will be lifted in line with government guidelines.
Coronavirus Prevention Measures Made Obvious
For poker players, the most obvious change will be the appearance of dealers. From the images currently available (see below), the new face of poker is somewhat industrial, possibly even ominous.
However, in the interests of safety and getting the casino running again, the masks are essential.
The next two weeks will not only be critical for King’s Casino Rozvadov, but for the Czech Republic as a country. Tight controls have helped the daily infection rate fall from a peak of 354 at the end of March to just 53 on Monday.
By ensuring it follows government guidelines, the casino can pave the way for other parts of the entertainment sector to reopen. President Miloš Zeman said that all pubs and restaurants will be allowed to fully reopen from May 25 (beer gardens are now permitted).
That will not only help King’s Casino Rozvadov rebuild its bankroll, but give the economy as a whole a boost. Since coronavirus preventive measures were put in place, the Czech economy has taken a hit. Industrial production has dropped by 30% and interest rates have been slashed to 0.50%.
Czech Casino Could Set Example
One of the biggest issues for the economy is the lack of tourism. The most recent statistics available show that almost 3% of the country’s GDP came from tourism in 2017.
King’s Casino Rozvadov sits on the Czech/German border and derives a lot of its business from foreign customers. This makes it a major contributor to the national income.
It’s not clear when the government will allow visitors back into the country. An outbound travel ban was lifted this week, despite officials previously suggesting a national lockdown until the end of 2020. The onus will be on travelers to prove they’re not infected upon their arrival to the Czech Republic, or spend 14 days in quarantine.
If this proves successful, it could open the doors to inbound travelers. When that happens, King’s Casino Rozvadov will return to a much more normal state of affairs.
For now, poker players will be able to play cash games but not tournaments. Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be any caps on the number of players at a table. This is something Las Vegas casino owners will be paying attention to.
Nevada guidelines insist that tables will have to be four-handed when games return. However, King’s Casino could show that such restrictions aren’t necessary, assuming other safety measures are in place.