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Cautious Optimism Abounded At G2E That Gaming Industry Is Meeting COVID Challenges by USBets' Gary Rotstein


Some panelists at last week’s virtual Global Gaming Expo talked about how shocked they were in March to have been faced with closing casinos — a prospect that once seemed so remote that they didn’t even have locks for the doors.

Other gaming executives recounted the various difficulties in reopening since then: getting guests used to mask policies; trying to order plexiglass that was in short supply; telling some furloughed employees regretfully that they couldn’t return because so many traditional operations were shut down, even if gambling resumed.

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And many connected to the industry and speaking online from their remote locations discussed the changes in casinos now from pre-COVID days. Among those, they noted the younger demographic, the focus on real gambling instead of amenities, and the satisfying level of revenue they’re drawing as patrons’ average spending increases.

One way or another — and not surprisingly for an industry crippled from March through June by the pandemic and still recovering — the impact of this year’s coronavirus was a key topic for an annual conference that normally draws to Las Vegas tens of thousands of individuals connected to the gaming industry.


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