“Bloody” is the perfect word to describe the casino industry’s rundown in 2020 according to Bill Miller, president of the American Gaming Association. This was the year that the Coronavirus brought gambling to an abrupt halt. The first bad news was that the casino industry in America has profit fell to their lowest level since 2003.
The good news? Because bola online sports betting and internet gambling became very popular, customers found other legal ways to gamble. E-gaming also grew enormously, as stay-at-home players looked for new entertainment options on their computers and phones.
Casino Industry in America During Covid-19
Covid-19 brought an abrupt halt to what promised to be the best first quarter (perhaps even the best year) in the history of the US casino industry. Gambling revenues fell to just under 30 billion dollars. This may seem like a lot, but compared to the figures for 2019 it is a decrease of 31 percent.
Tribal Gaming revenue has yet to be aggregated, but is likely to be 25 percent lower than 2019’s 34.5 billion dollar. Not one of the 25 states where casinos are legal has announced a year-over-year increase in revenue. “Even though gambling revenues have fallen, it’s amazing that it’s fallen so little. That’s thanks to our ability to reopen quickly and safely inside the casino industry in America,” said Miller.
Casino Industry in America : Consequences of Closing Casinos
For a casino industry in America that had enjoyed five consecutive years of revenue growth, 2021 came as an unpleasant shock. Especially as casinos relied less and less on gambling revenues and more and more on attractions like conventions, dining and entertainment, and hotel rooms, it felt like a double whammy. This is especially true in Las Vegas, where gambling contributes just 30 percent to total revenue and visitation fell by 74 percent.
New Mexico was hit the hardest. Casinos here were closed in March and would not open for the rest of the year. This resulted in a decrease of 79 percent. South Dakota was the least affected. There, casinos only had to close their casinos for seven weeks. Revenues here fell by 4.5 percent. Four states (Illinois, Michigan, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania) have seen a second wave of closures as Covid-19 increased again in the fall.
State and local governments also suffered because of reliance ongambling tax. They saw their revenues fall by 34 percent, and that may just be the tip of the iceberg. The AGA reports, “This loss does not include the billions more the industry pays in the form of income, sales and various other corporate taxes. Nor does the total reflect payroll taxes paid by gambling operators and suppliers.”
Casino Industry in America : Positive Consequences
Behind all this pain and suffering are some positive aspects for the casino industry. The increase in sports betting and e-gaming has already been noticed. Casinos were also encouraged to switch to cashless payments more quickly. In Nevada, for example, players can fund the casino industry in America with e-wallets, thanks to a Covid-focused change in regulations. Other states are following this trend.
In the 2020 elections, while the pandemic was still going on, gaming struck a decisive blow at the ballot box. Maryland, South Dakota and Louisiana all approved sports betting, Nebraska voters legalized casinos, four Virginia towns voted to develop casinos, while Colorado voters approved the expansion of games and the abolition of loss limits. This was in line with the AGA polls, which showed a consistent growth in public sentiment in favor of gaming.
Introduction of New Casino
The introduction of a new casino product mitigated the Coronavirus shock in a few states. Thanks to Encore Boston Harbor, gains in Massachusetts were only 23 percent lower, while gaming expansions in Arkansas capped the pain to minus 16 percent. E-gaming was most dominant in New Jersey (970 million dollar) and Pennsylvania (566 million dollar).
As physical play increased again, slots became much more popular than table games, as it is easier for players to keep their distance from other players. Poker rooms have lost most of their popularity and are only just making a comeback in some states. / Dy
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