On 31 July the Government decided to postpone some of the changes they were hoping to make in August, which included the reopening of casinos on 1 August. It was devastating to hear at the eleventh hour that the date for reopening casinos had been pushed back, after substantial investment by our members to create a safe gaming environment. The Grosvenor Victoria Casino on Edgware Road, affectionately known as ‘The Vic’, is one of the longest established casinos in the country and has invested heavily in anti-Covid measures for their members and guests in all the areas across the site including the gaming tables, slot machines, and The Little Vic.
They have worked closely with The Betting and Gaming Council to implement anti-covid measures and make the Casino safe for their members, guests and staff. In a highly regulated industry, casino operators may be better placed than most sectors to implement stringent hygiene and social distancing measures.
Once they are allowed to reopen, The Grosvenor Victoria Casino will operate 24 hours a day at just over 30% capacity, with The Little Vic at 50% capacity. They are focusing on making space available for members and guests to play, making the casino experience less of a spectator sport. With this in mind, the terrace has been extended and features a new bar where the conference room once stood. Break-out points and areas where people can congregate will be out of use until further notice to avoid clusters.
When they arrive, guests will be asked to show Government-issued ID, such as a passport or driver’s licence, which will be scanned upon entry. Signage indicating a one-way system, as well as social distancing and queue markers, are in place throughout the building to guide visitors around. Staff have been redeployed as marshals at points of entry to manage capacity.
Guests are asked to sanitise their hands at reception and an infrared temperature scanning system is in place. Anyone with a temperature over 37.8 degree will trigger an alarm. At the Little Vic, the security team use hand-held temperature devices.
Wrap-around screens have been installed at the card tables, and Perspex screens are in place at the roulette tables to separate players. Due to the screens between players, capacity is reduced to 50%. Adjustments had to be made to how the game is played, for instance the dealer has to take a step back when players place their bets, which means the game is not as fast-paced as it used to be.
Screens are in place between the slot machines and they are cleaned after each use with a virucidal disinfectant, which is effective on the virus after just one minute. A sign tells guests if the machine is ready to use.
Grosvenor casinos ambassador David Haye takes us on a guided tour of Grosvenor Casinos facilities:
Anti-covid measures are easier to implement and less noticeable in the VIP room since it has always had limited capacity.
The restaurant is planning to accept bookings of 1-4 people, with a reduced menu and table service only. Menus will be available online, but disposable menus can also be provided and contactless payments are encouraged.