The United States casino industry remains on a loss-making streak in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The economic uncertainty continues to cast doubts for the sector’s recovery in terms of revenue.
Data presented by Safe Betting Sites indicates that the US casino industry revenue from January 2020 to September 2020 dropped to $21.6 billion, representing a 36.45% slump on a year-over-year basis. In 2019, during the same period, the industry recorded a commercial revenue of $33.99 billion.
The research also reviewed casino revenue by states. Out of the 24 reviewed states, New Mexico witnessed the biggest percentage decline of 71.91%. Nevada was the tenth most impacted state with a 37.92% drop in revenue. South Dakota was the least impacted with a drop of about 7.99%.
US Commercial Casino Revenue Change (%) by state
Lockdowns plunge casinos into losses
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic triggered the year-long casino industry losses. Across the United States, casinos were closed from March as part of lockdowns curbing the virus’ spread. The closures limited in-house gambling. The losses are significant and cannot be compared to past economic crises since the US casino industry has made quick recoveries from previous economic turmoils. Although states have reopened alongside casinos, they are not operating at full capacity in the wake of strict coronavirus regulations.
The losses could have been higher were it not for stimulus packages. The industry benefited from the federal stimulus aid package to keep businesses afloat. The sector is expected to benefit from a possible second stimulus package yet to be passed by congress.
States like Nevada that heavily rely on casino tourism have also witnessed substantial losses as the pandemic crippled air travel. To cash in more on casino tourism, most establishments have incorporated high-end entertainment facilities, among other amazing amenities within the resorts. However, these facilities remain largely unutilized as an observed precaution.
Hopes with possible Covid-19 vaccine
The industry has managed to earn some revenue after moving most operations online as people stayed at home. Online gambling offers a much needed safe environment than a crowded casino. At this point, the shifting of operations online appears to weather the pandemic storm. However, stakeholders are looking at how sustainable online operations can run. Most importantly, the pandemic’s full effects on the sector cannot be clear at this point since some states are staring at possible second waves.
It is worth mentioning that the casino industry in the United States has been at the forefront of implementing rigorous, innovative protocols that have allowed the vast majority of entities to reopen in different states. With business returning to some normalcy, sportsbooks are witnessing an increased action translating to a steady recovery path of the industry.
In the post-pandemic period, the industry will proceed with the recovery especially with the continued evolution of online casinos supported by the rapid penetration of mobile devices. The expected relaxation of casino regulations is also expected to spur growth.