As coronavirus concerns linger, casinos are looking to rebound with fewer live employees

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has been quite a catalyst for expediting several aspects of society that were already in development, such as the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI).
What was happening at a slow, steady pace is now being implemented rapidly across many industries. Casinos in Las Vegas are figuring out new ways to provide the same outstanding gambling experience while also keeping in mind the safe and healthy measures of social distancing and disinfection to stop the virus from spreading. One of the most recent additions in some casinos in Las Vegas are self-service machines, which are helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as operators start switching to a self-service approach.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that COVID-19 is a catalyst for change,” Applied Analysis economist Jeremy Aguero said. “(The pandemic has) required businesses that need to adapt to look at every point of human interaction and ask: Can it be automated?” These self-service machines were implemented as an attempt to reduce the interactions between humans. The automatization of tasks will allow casinos to overcome the heavy restrictions the land-based gambling industry is facing amid the pandemic. There’s a really good chance that things will most likely never go back to how they were before. Self-check-in kiosks, robotic bartenders and ordering tablets at restaurants are among the examples of automated services powered by AI that can be taught to deliver the best possible customer service while keeping guests and employees safe.

MGM Resorts International has been implementing at the Bellagio in Las Vegas a self-service machine that removes the need to interact with a front-desk worker and, instead, guests can check-in using a smartphone. According to MGM spokeswoman Callie Driehorst, the company accelerated the rollout of this technology in response to the pandemic, including digital keys that allow “physical distancing in addition to enhanced guest experience.”
In addition, across the city, robot servers are taking over in bars, eliminating the need for physical bartenders and waitstaff.