The pandemic had a significant influence on every industry worldwide. All sizes of industries have felt the effects. The land-based casino industry was one that this crisis had a significant influence on. The United States is one of the largest gambling markets in the world, with more than 1,000 land-based casinos. The casino doors were shut as lockdown after lockdown ensued, with no indication of how long it would last. Locked-down casinos in the United States served as COVID testing facilities and vaccination clinics throughout the pandemic.
The Economic Effect
Over 610,000 employees in the gaming sector lost their income during lockdowns. At the height of the pandemic, the unemployment rate in Las Vegas hit 30%. The two-month closure of the gambling industry cost the nation’s economy $105 billion in lost revenue, including more than $2 billion in lost gaming taxes. By the end of 2020, land-based casinos had been closed for 27% of the year. According to the American Gaming Association, gambling income fell by 31% in 2020. The analysis pointed out that the industry’s economic decline in 2020 significantly outpaced the 8.4 percent decline experienced during the Great Recession.
During the lockdowns, gamblers had access to online casinos to satisfy their desire to play. The internet gambling market experienced extraordinary growth during this time, at never-before-seen levels. The Online Casino operators had everything in place for this transition. Fortunately for the land-based casinos, most of them also had an online presence and loyal patrons were quick to try out their online platform. Many casinos were forced to evolve, and as a result, they not only survived but also excelled. Although most soon saw the advantages of expanding into the online sector, many thought it was a jump into the unknown.
2021: Land-Based Casinos Back With a Bang
2021 saw a significant improvement over the pandemic-affected year of 2020. A record $53 billion in revenue was announced by the American Gaming Association in 2021, up 21% from the previous record of $43.65 billion achieved back in 2019.
2022: Gaming Revenue to Increase
2022 is on track to be another record-breaking year as the year comes to a close. Through the first eight months of the year, commercial gaming revenue was $39.21 billion, $14.9 percent more than in 2021. Americans spent $4.89 billion in land-based casinos, on sports betting, and internet gambling in August alone, a record for the month and a rise of 10.0% from the previous year. August marked the 18th consecutive month that gaming revenue increased over the prior year.
2023: New Face of US Gaming
There is little doubt that the move to online casinos during the pandemic has had an impact on the overall expansion of the US gaming industry. During the epidemic, internet rookies began to appear and discover that playing online was both entertaining and practical. Additionally, the land-based brands had to improve their offerings and focus on enhancing their online presence. Players can now choose between playing their favorite games at Online Casinos or Physical Casinos. The choice is theirs.
In the United States, 9.5 billion dollars were spent on online gambling in 2021, up from 8.7 billion dollars the year before. Total iGaming Revenue for July 2022 in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Delaware was $388.4 million, a 21.5% increase over July 2021’s $305 million. evidence that the future of gaming is online.
The land-based business has definitely benefited from the post-pandemic boom but if it hopes to survive and compete with online gaming’s success it will need to adjust. The industry should be proud of what brick-and-mortar casinos have accomplished in the past year, overcoming a devastating blow and breaking all prior records.