The coronavirus has changed how land-based casinos operate in many ways. First off, gambling establishments now require players to wear a mask when they’re on the gaming floor.
Secondly, players must maintain proper distancing from each other. Guidelines suggest that gamblers sit with at least one slot machine or table game seat in between them.
But one of the lesser-known changes that’s taking place in casinos is the rise of electronic gaming. Electronic terminals have become much more popular in brick-and-mortar casinos ever since COVID-19 hit.
The increased popularity of real money online casinos during COVID-19 was entirely expected. After all, many gamblers feel like staying home so they have less chance to catch the virus.
However, the rising popularity of electronic games wasn’t as expected. I’ll discuss more on this phenomenon below along with reasons for why people are looking past live table games towards the machines.
More People Are Playing Electronic Table Games
Casinos provide electronic terminals as an alternative to regular table games. These games allow players to gamble in relative isolation just like with slot machines.
Electronic gaming had already earned its spot on casino floors. But more and more people are playing these machines than ever before today.
According to Vegas Inc, game developer Scientific Games has seen demand for their electronic table games triple since COVID-19 hit in March. Most of this demand is centered on dealer-assisted setups, which feature a single dealer who serves up to 250 terminals.
Station Casinos previously shunned the idea of widespread electronic gaming across its properties. The company has since changed its tune, though, with the coronavirus still persisting. They’ve now installed terminals at all of their Las Vegas properties.
Why Electronic Games Over Live Tables Games?
Under normal circumstances, many gamblers prefer live table games over the electronic versions. The primary reason why they visit land-based casinos in the first place is for a social experience.
Terminals don’t offer the same social atmosphere as tables. But during the COVID-19 era, they do a feature some very specific benefits, including those covered below.
Easier For Players to Social Distance
As mentioned before, many casinos require players to remain at least one seat apart. Even with this precautionary measure, though, gamblers may be close enough to spread the coronavirus.
Electronic terminals are even further apart. Therefore, gamblers don’t need to worry as much about catching the virus when they stay at their machine.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that one is completely COVID-proof when playing electronic games. But they can at least lower their chances of getting the virus when sticking to the machines.
Less Labor Needed
Casinos are stuck in a bad spot right now. On one front, they’re coming off of being shut down and trying to make a comeback financially.
The same process is necessary for electronic machines as well. Employees need to sanitize each game and ensure that it’s clean for the next player.
However, casinos don’t need to employ dealers to run these games. Instead, the players themselves operate the machines.
Of course, dealer-assisted electronic gaming does feature at least one croupier. But the same dealer can serve up to 250 machines at once.
Potential to Attract Millennial Gamblers
Millennials aren’t attracted to the same type of casino games as previous generations. Specifically, most millennials don’t spend much time playing slots.
However, young gamers do enjoy playing table games. They especially like skill-based games like blackjack, Caribbean stud, and three-card poker.
That said, electronic gaming already appeals to millennials due to the fact that it’s based on table games. It offers even more appeal when considering that it runs through machines.
An older gambler may be intimidated by a new type of gambling machine. Younger players, though, have spent much of a lives on devices like smartphones and tablets. They’re perfectly comfortable transitioning to new gaming terminals.
Casinos Can Be Profitable with Lower Stakes
Brick-and-mortar casinos typically feature minimum bets ranging from $10 to $25. Compare this to online casinos, which allow you to play baccarat, blackjack, and other games for just $1 per hand.
Electronic terminals alleviate these costs to some degree. Again, only one dealer is needed to run the game for an entire bank of machines.
Therefore, operators don’t have to charge as much for minimum wagers. They can require players to risk a dollar or less and still make plenty of money.
The option is always available to bet more if you feel like doing so. But the key advantage is that you don’t have to risk as much as with regular land-based tables.
Has Electronic Gaming Truly Arrived?
Electronic terminals have been around for a while. Brick-and-mortar casinos feature both dealer-assisted and solo electronic gaming such as roulette and craps.
Again, this type of gambling serves as a nice alternative to regular table games. But it’s never come close to taking over the table sector.
However, the coronavirus is making this type of gaming more popular. Gamblers are choosing machines over tables for multiple reasons:
- Easier to social distance.
- Lower minimum bets.
- Ability to gamble online when the mood strikes.
- Can be less intimidating than live tables.
I wouldn’t say that the electronic gambling era has truly arrived. Instead, it’s merely been given more rise thanks to COVID-19.
It will still remain a viable part of the casino market—perhaps even more so—once the coronavirus wanes. But it’s not going to completely replace live table games. The latter offers special aspects that can’t be mimicked by anything else in the casino.
However, electronic terminals might gain a little more space on floors following the pandemic. More people will feel comfortable playing these machines, which will, in turn, make them slightly more popular long term.
How Can You Get Started with Electronic Table Games?
After reading this, you may be considering whether electronic table games are worth your time. You might be especially interested due to the current pandemic.
If you haven’t played electric terminals in land-based casinos before, then you may appreciate some tips on doing so. Here are the steps for getting started with these games.
Step 1: Insert Your Money
You begin by inserting your cash into a machine just like with a slot machine. Each terminal has a bill acceptor that’s similar to a slot. You’ll see the credits come up on your touchscreen.
Step 2: Selection Your Chip Denomination
Each terminal and casino can differ in terms of what chip denominations they offer. Generally speaking, though, you’ll be able to use chips worth $0.25, $1, $5, $10, $25, and/or $100.
Step 3: Use the Touchscreen to Place Bets
You’ll see a digital table game setup on your touchscreen. You push the different options on this screen to place bets and decide on actions (like in blackjack).
Step 4: Confirm Your Bets
The dealer only gives you to long to make decisions—just like with live gambling tables. Therefore, you need to place bets within a reasonable amount of time. Once satisfied with your selections, select the “Bet” button to confirm everything.
Step 5: Re-bet or Start Over
The dealer will play out the round to determine results. Your bet will be paid (if successful) electronically afterward. At this point, you can either re-bet with the previous choice(s) or start over and pick a new wager.
Electronic gaming didn’t arrive yesterday. It’s been available in land-based casinos for quite some time. However, it has picked up steam in recent months due to the coronavirus.
Some gamblers are apprehensive to sit in close proximity to other players due to COVID. Terminals make for suitable alternatives due to their distance from each other.
If you’re worried about catching the virus in land-based casinos, then you might consider electronic gaming. It may not be exactly like live table games, but it still provides an opportunity to enjoy exciting gambling action.