When Bellagio and New York-New York reopen the casino floors will have a new layout. In fact, all casinos in Las Vegas will look different thanks to new health and safety plans. Casinos will be operating at 50% capacity for the foreseeable future. Traditional table games will have fewer seats. Every other video poker and slot machine will either have seats removed or be turned off entirely.
The new policies will include cleaning plans for gaming tables, chairs, cards, etc. It might be easier for casinos to keep gaming machines clean since there are fewer parts on the outside of the games to maintain.
Gaming manufacturers have been pitching Electronic Table Games (ETG’s) and Stadium Gaming for more than a few years. These electronic versions of traditional table games like blackjack and 3 card poker have very slowly become more popular in Las Vegas.
The spread of coronavirus and relative ease of keeping these games clean might make them a more popular gaming option as visitors return to Las Vegas casinos.
Actually, all machine games might become more popular – at least for a little while people ease back into society after staying at home for so long. The different gaming machines – ETG’s, video poker and slot machines, and stadium gaming – might become the preferred option for gamblers visiting Las Vegas.
You’re probably aware of video poker and/or slot machines if you’re reading a Vegas travel blog. I’ll focus on the other machine gaming options you might want to consider when visiting a Las Vegas casino. You may be less familiar with ETG’s and Stadium Gaming installations.
Electronic Table Games
Electronic Table Games are exactly what they sound like. These are electronic versions of traditional table games. These video machines usually sit between five and seven people and don’t have a human dealer.
Blackjack and roulette are probably the most popular ETG’s. Some Las Vegas casinos also have this kind of table for baccarat, craps, and/or 3 card poker.
There are a variety of setups for these games but the main difference from a traditional table game is that there’s no dealer and players aren’t necessarily able to see the hands of other players.
ETG’s have been most popular with machine gamblers that prefer the relative isolation of playing casino games without a dealer. More recently these games have become more popular with newer gamblers that don’t want the pressure of dealers and other players watching their every move.
This kind of video table game can be found in just about every casino on the Vegas Strip. ETG’s could become more popular as they’re easier to clean than traditional table games. The experience isn’t the same as playing with live dealers but that could be something more comfortable for gamblers moving forward.
These are the large gaming areas with multiple video units and at least one live dealer for all the players. Stadium Gaming installations can have anywhere from 10 betting stations to more than 100 depending on the casino. The setups can be for an individual game like blackjack or multiple games.
Similar to ETG’s, Stadium Gaming has also been growing in popularity over the years. One reason for their popularity is the isolation of playing a table game on a machine but with a human dealer at a distance. These installations are also popular because they’re often the table games with the lowest minimum wager.
The Venetian and The Palazzo both have Stadium Gaming and ETG’s available for low rolling guests. The minimum bet for blackjack at each casino might be $25 at a traditional live dealer table. Meanwhile, the ETG or Stadium Game might have a $5 minimum wager.
The Linq has a different type of Stadium Gaming installation. The casino has a small version of Pulse Arena (above) that seats about 30-40 players. This section can have loud music over the speakers while guests play roulette, blackjack, and more. It’s a pretty lively part of the casino near the new sportsbook on busier nights.
Even though these games are set up for some isolation they could offer that group gaming environment that so many table game players enjoy.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.