Read the Indian Gaming Covid-19 Article Here

As history has proven time and again, calamity often brings opportunity. Some of the best ideas and solutions developed by mankind have been the result of adversity and necessity. Indian gaming will thrive again – but things will be different. How different remains to be seen.

What we already know is that guests and employees have an expectation that owners of hotels, casinos, restaurants, etc., are making cleanliness, health safety and wellness a top priority. As new health standards are integrated into a property, innovative design solutions can play a key role in influencing the perception or ‘optics’ of cleanliness and safety, without diminishing the sense of luxury expected in the hospitality experience. No one wants to stay in a hotel room that looks and feels clinical like a hospital. These design changes also don’t have to be inconvenient or even overt. Engaging designers to change the guest experience creatively and strategically to be healthier and more focused on their well-being is a clear property differentiator.

Of course, there isn’t one perfect formula for operating in the COVID-19 era. Protocols and regulations can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and tribe to tribe. What may work for a commercial gaming property might not work for an Indian Nation. There are distinct needs for short-term temporary fixes, but also long-term permanent solutions. This makes it even more important for operators and designers to partner together to ensure operational and design solutions are both durable and impervious from an aesthetic standpoint to meet the extended needs of guest safety and wellness.

Creative design solutions in the COVID-19 era reach beyond pure safety and wellness, they can also significantly impact a property’s bottom line – and increasing revenues is one of the most important objectives for owners right now. As an example, we’re currently developing a series of innovative design solutions for the casino floor to improve the guest experience and beat the current occupancy model. We’re also reimagining how guests are seated and served in restaurants to achieve social distancing and compartmentalization of spaces that will likely become the norm for the industry. Creative design can inform distancing of guests so that they perceive intimacy and exclusivity as opposed to separation. Small semi- private rooms and spaces and transparency of food preparation will become more commonplace. Buffets, of course, will change permanently, but the goal of a redesign is to maintain the original spirit of the buffet. Ideas such as conversions of buffets to food-hall type experiences is another example to explore.

The Indian gaming industry will rise out of this pandemic stronger than ever. It will flourish because of one fundamental premise – guests crave great experiences they can’t get anywhere else. They want to gamble and eat a great meal. They love to get away to see a show and stay at interesting hotels. They want to swim in a resort pool and be pampered in a luxurious spa. They want to get out of the house and be entertained. No matter what happens, that is never going to change.