Poker Rooms Making the Right Decision to Shut Down Due to Coronavirus
In case you haven’t been paying attention, numerous poker events have been delayed or canceled outright due to the COVID-19 virus. The coronavirus has been steadily spreading in the United States and various poker rooms and tournament directors have made the tough decision to shut down rather than spread the infection.
There are some that believe that the cancellations are knee-jerk reactions but the hard truth is that the poker rooms are making the best decision. Below we cover some reasons why shutting down is the smartest move that poker rooms and tournament organizers can make.
Coronavirus Can Live Up to Three Days on Surfaces
New evidence has shown that the coronavirus can live on surfaces from 2 to 3 days. That means that an infected player that sits down to play a few rounds of poker can infect someone without ever being around them.
Researchers at Princeton and UCLA found that the coronavirus can live in the air for up to three hours, and on surfaces for up to three days https://t.co/EhiLSJzZm7
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) March 11, 2020
Some of you are thinking “big deal. I will take some Lysol wipes with me.” That’s great, but what about the thousands of chips that circulate around the poker room or casino each day. Are you going to sit there and wipe down each and every chip you touch? Will you wear protective gloves and clothing to play at the casino?
Most people aren’t going to take steps necessary to keep themselves sanitary at the casino. Even IF you are able to protect yourself, there are too many surfaces and chips to clean in order to keep everyone healthy. And let’s not get started on germs that spread via food, drinks, and other items in the casino.
Kids and Healthy People Are Not Immune
A common misconception is that kids are largely immune from the coronavirus. That is inaccurate. What’s happening is that kids that are getting infected are being less symptomatic. For many kids, contracting coronavirus is not much more than getting a cold.
The problem comes for those that are not healthy or susceptible to bronchitis, pneumonia, or other respiratory illnesses. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still be a carrier for the virus, which can be potentially fatal for the elderly and immunocompromised.
Poker Players Are Too Concerned Over Profit
What’s a bit sad is that there are some poker players out there that are only worried about making money and winning titles. They feel that this is not a big deal and are willing to risk their health and potentially the health of others to play poker.
One poker pro, Matt Glantz, even said he would take $250,000 to willingly contract the coronavirus. He said he would self-quarantine after contracting it, but the idea is still somewhat preposterous. However, there are many players that think canceling events is dumb and would probably join Glantz in risking their health and the health of others for a few bucks.
Willing to contract the #coronavirus for $250k. Will immediately go into self quarantine as to not to spread or infect anyone else. Will document entire experience daily.
Always put my money (I guess body now) where my mouth is.
HMU to negotiate exact terms. Let's do it!
— Matt Glantz (@MattGlantz) March 7, 2020
That’s why poker rooms had to step in. If players are not willing to look after themselves and the safety of others, someone has to step in and do it for them. People are going to argue that they have the “right” to play poker, but other people have the right to be protected from player stupidity.
Protection from Liability
You know at some point there are going to be lawsuits from coronavirus sufferers with claims that companies did not do enough to protect them. They are going to claim that they were infected at businesses that were not sanitized properly. To avoid some of this litigation, it is better to shut down or cancel events.
Sure, there will be those upset that a poker room has shut down and there may be a few that choose not to return to a particular room. However, the liability risk is too great to ignore. Losing a few players is a lot less costly than a lawsuit.
Keep in mind that this is just a temporary inconvenience for players. Poker rooms will reopen in time and events will either be rescheduled or will resume next year. Short-term prevention is worth the inconvenience of a few players.