The new coronavirus has negatively impacted the US gambling industry. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), the total revenue dropped 79% due to the shutdown of 1,000 land-based casinos in March. On the other hand, the online gambling industry crushed it during the pandemic. Players stuck at home were able to enjoy playing online casino games while socially distanced.
- US land-based casino industry dropped 79% in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- AGA remains optimistic about the industry’s path to recovery.
- The US online gambling industry is still going strong.
Casino Revenue Drops
According to the American Gaming Association, in the second quarter of 2020, the land-based casino industry saw a 79% drop in total gross gaming revenue due to the pandemic. In March, over 1,000 casinos across the US had to close their doors to visitors, to stop the virus from spreading further.
Although many industries suffered from the mandatory shutdown, land-based casinos with massive operating costs were hit the hardest.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Even though casinos started reopening during June and July, another wave of new cases appeared, and another series of prevention measures were implemented. Masks are now mandatory for both guests and staff, temperature checks, and several other safety protocols were put in place at casinos.
Game tables now have fewer available seats, every other slot machine dos turned off, public entertainment spectacles are canceled, and casino restaurants have been closed. All of this led to a drop in revenue by 86% from table games, 82% from slots, and 46% from sports betting.
Bill Miller, AGA’s CEO, addressed the situation in a statement:
COVID-19 has undoubtedly posed the most difficult economic challenge the gaming industry has ever faced. Yet, gaming’s record popularity before COVID-19 and our resilience amid such adversity is evidence of the industry’s foundation for continued success as we emerge from the pandemic.
Will Land Based Casinos Recover?
AGA’s CEO remains optimistic about the whole situation, despite the tough road the industry had to go through. Miller said:
The gaming industry has been a leader in implementing rigorous, innovative protocols that have allowed the vast majority of our properties to reopen and stay open. With business returning to casino floors and sportsbooks seeing increased action, the gaming industry is steadily charting a responsible path to recovery that prioritizes health and safety, support the communities where we operate and offers first-class entertainment.
The road will continue to be rocky, that’s true, and we may even see further revenue drops. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, as nearly 300 casinos reopened just in June, and by now, more than 85% of the total number of casinos are open. Most land-based casinos have also launched online casino platforms. Considering the online gambling industry is crushing it during the pandemic, maybe they’ll help the operators make ends meet until this whole nightmare ends.
Online Gambling Still Going Strong
While land-based casinos needed to be closed, real money online casinos were the perfect solution for players to maintain social distancing, yet still enjoy their favorite casino games. The iGaming industry, therefore, has seen a significant growth amid the pandemic. Online casinos did not need to close, as they posed no staff member or player in danger.
The internet is the ultimate solution for all those who want to enjoy casino games, but need to self-isolate. To play at an online casino, a player needs to connect to the internet via any desktop or mobile device, load the casino site and choose the game to play. Players can play all types of online slots, table games, live dealers, and enjoy an experience as closest to land-based as possible, while still staying safe at home.