The ongoing health crisis has negatively impacted business across the nation and around the world. In light of a vaccine for the coronavirus, the slow road back to normal has begun. Yet, in its wake the damage has been done. Needless to say, the negative impact on the land-based casino industry has taken its toll. Industry reports close to PlaySlots4RealMoney.com have put some quantitative numbers to that actual toll.
How Much Did The Coronavirus Pandemic Take Out Of 2020 Casino Revenue?
The US casino industry lost 31.3% of its revenue in 2020 as compared to the year before. The revenue added up to $30 billion, which was the lowest level since 2003 according to industry figures. These figures were confirmed by the American Gaming Association (AGA) earlier this month.
Obviously, the primary cause was the impact from the coronavirus pandemic. Just about every land-based casino shuttered its doors in mid-March of 2020. This is when the rapid spread of Covid-19 first began.
Las Vegas casinos remained closed until early June under a directive from Nevada’s governor.
Some closures lingered into July and beyond in places such as Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Even after land-based casinos were cleared to reopen, they operated at limited capacity under strict health protocols. In most areas of the country with legal casinos, players were slow to resume their normal gambling routines. To this day, many of the biggest casino resorts in Las Vegas are still limiting their hours of operation.
The last time that total casino revenue failed to eclipse the previous year was in 2014. The 31.3% drop can be equated to the amount of time casinos sat idle in 2020. It has been reported that they lost 27% of their normal operating days last year.
There are 24 states in the US offering legal land-based casino gambling. There is a mix of commercial establishments and gaming venues owned and operated by federally recognized Indian tribes.
One of the hardest hit states as far as revenue loss was New Mexico. Casinos in this state lost 79% of their revenue due to increased closures throughout the year.
Bill Miller is the CEO and president of AGA. He released the following statement covering the situation:
“Covid-19 devastated our business and the employees and communities across the country that rely on casino gaming’s success. These numbers show the economic realities of Covid-19. And underscore the importance of targeted federal relief and ramped-up vaccine distribution to accelerate gaming’s recovery in 2021.”
One of the lone bright spots in 2020 was the rapid growth of online casino gambling and legal sports betting. More and more states went online with both gaming verticals as a direct response to Covid-19.
The state of New Jersey led the way in sports betting. The Garden State set a new national record in its monthly sports betting handle in August. This record was broken each month while reaching $996.3 million in December. The state took in more than $6 billion in sports bets in 2020. The majority of those bets were placed online.