The novel coronavirus has affected the US gambling industry, with the total revenue dropped 79 percent due to the shutdown across the country. As many as 1000 land-based casinos had been closed since March that led to this nosedive effect, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA).
On the contrary, the online gambling industry not only kept floating but emerged as the clear winner during the pandemic. Players who were forced to stay home were able to enjoy playing internet casino games.
Casino Revenue Drops
In the second quarter of this year, the land-based casino market saw a 79 percent plunge in overall gross gaming revenue due to the Covid-19. Over 1000 casinos across the country closed their doors in March to keep the virus from spreading.
Although the pandemic-led shutdowns struck almost every industry, it was the land-based casinos that bore the brunt of the mandatory closures.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Though the gambling industry started reopening from June, the second wave of new cases led to the prevention measures that the authorities began to implement vigorously. The mandatory masks and temperature checks for both staff and guests are the new normal for the land-based casinos.
Game tables now have fewer available seats, and public entertainment spectacles are no more available, and there are no casino restaurants available to serve the eager guests.
All these factors combined to cause a significant drop in revenue by 86 percent from table games, 82 percent from slots, and 46 percent from sports betting.
While commenting on the economic impact of Covid-19 on casinos, AGA’s CEO, Bill Miller, said:
“The pandemic has undoubtedly posed the most difficult economic challenge the gambling industry has ever faced. However, gaming’s record popularity before the coronavirus and our resilience amid such adversity is evidence of the industry’s foundation for uninterrupted success as we emerge from the COVID-19.”
Will Brick and Mortar Casinos Recover?
Despite the tough challenges the industry had to go through, AGA’s CEO expresses optimism about the whole situation. Miller said:
“The industry had been a leader in implementing rigorous and innovative protocols, allowing the considerable majority of our properties to reopen and stay open. The gaming industry is progressively charting a responsible path to recovery with business returning to casino floors.”
He added that the gradual progress coincides with new normal, i.e., prioritizing health and safety, and by supporting the communities where we operate and provide first-class entertainment.
Still, one thing is certain that it will be a hard road to tread. We may even see a further dip in revenue. However, the cloud may have silver linings as around 300 casinos reopened only in June. By now, over 85 percent of the total number of casinos have reopened.
Furthermore, most brick-and-mortar casinos have also launched online casino platforms. Keeping the tremendous potential of online gambling alternatives during the pandemic, it may sustain the economic burden that its land-based counterparts have been unable to bear.
Online Gambling Going Stronger and Stronger
As the land-based casinos were forced to shut down, its online alternative was the ideal solution for enthusiasts to enjoy while maintaining social distancing. Inevitably, the iGaming industry has witnessed unprecedented growth amid the pandemic. Since US online casinos did not involve any physical environment, they did not need to close during the pandemic.
So, online gambling is the ultimate alternative for all betting enthusiasts who want to enjoy casino games. A player just requires an internet connection through any mobile device or desktop in order to play at an online casino. Then you just have to load the casino sites to select the game to play. People can play all kinds of online slots, table games, and live dealers to enjoy an experience as if you are playing in a real land-based casino, yet staying safe at home.