According to the San Jose Spotlight, lawmakers have approved the reopening of casinos like other businesses. It is no longer news that was shut down since the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, casinos were not among the list of companies that were permitted to reopen to play free casino games.
Although industry watchers had predicted that casinos will reopen soon but didn’t expect it to happen now, however, according to business experts, the reason for the reopening could be because of the dwindling revenue of San Jose.
To forestall another outbreak of the COVID – 19 in San Jose, the lawmakers approved a health care guideline that all casinos must follow. This is welcoming news for Bay 101 and Casino M8trix.
Considering the damage already done by the COVID – 19 pandemic, nobody wants to feel that pain again. In line with this reasoning, the San Jose lawmakers set out the following conditions for casinos’ operation in San Jose:
Outdoor Operations: Casinos will now operate their services outdoors to ensure social distancing among the casinos’ customers and staff. This method is strange, considering the strategies adopted by other states regarding the reopening of casinos. However, the aim remains to stop the pandemic from taking more lives.
The Use of Giant Tents: Although the casinos have to operate outdoors, the customers will not stay under the sun. Casinos will have to construct giant tents out.
Social Distancing: Furthermore, the customers will be spaced out to reduce the risk of COVID-19. A player must stay six feet apart from the other to curb the spread.
Installation of Sneeze Guards: As recommended by the CDC, sneeze guards will also have to be installed between players and staff.
Wearing of Facemask: Players and dealers will have to wear a face mask.
Number of Players: No doubt, the number of players at the casinos will be reduced too.
Reasons That Lead to the Reopening of San Jose Casinos and Reactions
It is straightforward to guess the reason lawmakers decided to reopen the casinos. In fact, according to councilmember Raul Peralez, the city is losing tax revenues generated from the operations of these casinos. Therefore it is clear that revenue generation was one factor that inspired the reopening of the casinos.
Records show that San Jose’s card room taxes increased before the pandemic. The tax revenue from casinos was expected to be at $18.9 million. The casino revenue was reduced to $13.5 million when they shut down.
According to Robert Lindo, Casino M8trix is ready to do anything to guarantee the employees’ safety. Lindo added that casinos are eager to reopen after several months of shutting down. Robert Lindo is the vice president of Casino M8trix.
Also, responding to the reopening of casinos, Ron Warner is unsure how customers will react since there wouldn’t be much indoor gaming. Ron is the vice president of Bay 101, stated further that they would have to be some form of social distancing to protect dealers and players. As measures to allow the reopening of businesses, lawmakers waived the fees paid for outdoor public spaces. This initiative made it possible for some businesses to remain open during the heat of the pandemic. In an interview with San José Spotlight, Johnny Khamis said their aim as lawmakers were to treat all the businesses fairly. He added that these businesses generate lots of revenue for the city, and keeping them shut down means the city will lose more tax revenue. Khamis is one of the council members that voted in favor of reopening casinos in San Jose.
How the Decision to Reopen San Jose Casinos Was Taken
According to reports, the lawmakers were almost unanimous in making this decision. About 95 percent of the lawmakers were in support of the reopening of casinos in San Jose. The planned reopening scaled through on a 10-1 vote. Only one San Jose lawmaker didn’t agree to the reopening of the casinos.
More so, the lawmaker that cast the dissenting vote was Maya Esparza. The voting took place on the 1st day of September 2020.
San Jose’s Casino Future
No doubt, this pandemic has robbed casinos of so much income. Consequently, no one wants such to befall the world again. However, casino businesses in San Jose need to take away a lesson or two from this pandemic. They need to start looking for other measures to sustain their casino business.
Since businesses are moving online, it will be ideal for San Jose casinos to embrace this pattern. Online casinos South Africa and casinos around the world suffered loss, but those with an online presence incurred little losses. Players were still engaging in one form of gambling or the other online since the movement was restricted.
Finally, doing business online remains the future. San Jose casinos need to join the trend.