Few if any industries have managed to negotiate the coronavirus crisis without being affected in some way. The United States’ casino industry is no different. In fact, there is an argument that it has been one of the most badly hit areas of the economy of all. It is sad to see so many fabulous US casinos struggling during these tough times but as always, we are backing them to bounce back strongly when the crisis is averted. Just how have casinos been affected over the last few months?
On a most basic level, during the early days of Covid-19, the pandemic prevented gamers in many states accessing brick and mortar casinos due to local lockdown restrictions. Among those most drastically affected are small casinos. These buildings pack a lot of gaming fun into a tiny surface area. In pre-Covid times this was not a problem. Now though, as the virus is transmitted most easily in these confined, poorly ventilated spaces, these types of casinos are set to struggle for some time as social distancing is hard to maintain.
Even larger casinos have seen a significant decline in footfall. Although casinos in many parts of the US are now being allowed to reopen, they are limited to reduced capacities in an attempt to control the spread of the disease. Furthermore, many gambling hotspots such as Las Vegas are suffering from a massive drop off in tourists.
Usually during the summer months, Sin City would be filled to the rafters with gamblers from all over the world. This was not the case in 2020 though as some airports were closed and many people opted to stay away for fear of having to self-isolate when they returned home.
Overall, the coronavirus pandemic has hit physical casinos hard. One thing we can take solace in is the fact that the iGaming industry continues to thrive. With millions of people across the US stuck in doors during lockdown, online casinos witnessed a significant upsurge in traffic. Sites that offer popular slots, table games and live casino options actually enjoyed a spike in profits during the pandemic.
Many casinos also turned to sports betting in an attempt to cover some of the losses caused by the crisis. This in turn ushered in an increase in the amount of eSports in which players could bet on at casinos. This is because during the start of the pandemic, the majority of sports were forced to shut down. This left eSports, which can be performed remotely without any risk of infection, as one of the only available markets.
In other good news, the coronavirus crisis could lead to more states legalising more forms of gambling in the future. The crisis has left millions unemployed, which in turn has led to a decrease in taxes. With less money being taken by states, many are considering legalising gambling in order to make up for their budget shortfalls. This proves that although, the casino industry has been badly hit by Covid-19, there could yet be light at the end of the tunnel.