Losses for Las Vegas Land-Based Casinos Due to COVID-19

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The Covid-19 pandemic shifted how a lot of businesses operated. One business that is still affected over a year later is land-based casinos in Las Vegas. The world-renowned gambling city is known for its stretches of casinos, hotels, restaurants, bars, and other tourists’ sites. 

But due to social distancing restrictions, most of these venues have had to shut down for extended periods since early 2020. The only other time restrictions got imposed in the region was after the 9/11 attacks, when flights were grounded.

Notable Losses for Casino Giants

Various travel restrictions by countries globally came into effect from March 2020, limiting the number of tourists visiting Las Vegas. Besides that, social spaces like casino gambling halls had to shut down indefinitely. As a result, Las Vegas’ bustling streets turned into a ghost town. Most businesses had to downsize due to less traffic.

For casino halls that wanted to stay open, compliance with COVID guidelines became necessary. That meant adding sanitation points throughout the venue. They also had to hire staff to sanitize various points with added frequency, based on the user traffic to those areas. All these became an extra cost, yet the number of clients remained at an all-time low.

Major industry players like MGM Resorts reported losses worth $1 billion in Q2 of 2020. They attributed the loss to a sustained shutdown during the year to comply with COVID regulations. The Las Vegas Sands was also adversely affected by the same restrictions. They reported a revenue drop of 73.7% in 2020 with a comparison of 2019’s total revenue. That was a loss of $2.18 billion.

A Shift from Land-Based to Online Casinos

With no end in sight for the pandemic’s effects, casino gamers shifted to online platforms. Online casinos offer an impressive assortment of real money gaming options for Las Vegas residents. That’s if you don’t mind having to minimize social contact, a fact that’s becoming the norm due to the pandemic.

The American Gaming Association released a report showing a significant shift in gambling activities. While commercial gambling suffered huge losses, online gambling grew exponentially. It showed a 31% revenue drop for land-based casinos when compared with the previous year’s earnings. These venues were estimated to have closed business for 27% of the years, amounting to over 45,600 business days’ worth of business days lost.

Why Play Online?

Besides the COVID measures restricting movement, online casino gaming has quite a few perks over land-based options. For starters, you can indulge whenever you’d like to. All you need is a device to access the casino and internet access. There’s no need to set aside time to visit your favorite location for some gaming action. Other perks include:

  • No operating hours – Online casinos operate 24/7 throughout the year. You only need to find a legit platform accepting players from the state.
  • An assortment of games – Slots, virtual table games, and even specialty games are all available on a single platform.
  • Live casino gaming releases – Live dealer options are a fantastic alternative for table game players that miss social interactions. Get to interact with dealers and players at your virtual table in real-time.
  • Mobile gaming – Online casinos now support mobile-based gaming on tablets and smartphones. You don’t need to be at your PC or have a laptop with you to play.

A lot of casino gamers are currently struggling financially due to the pandemic. Some got pay cuts while others got furloughed as businesses like those in the hospitality industry struggled to stay open with restrictions. 

With online casino gaming, such individuals can still enjoy online casino games. That’s thanks to free demo modes available on most gaming sites.With these free options, you can play old and newly launched casino games like Wild Panda Slot . That’s by using virtual casino credits. Though the winnings are also virtual, you manage to stay entertained without spending a dime. Players can also take advantage of no deposit bonuses on these sites to help them spend less while online.

The Future of Land-Based Gambling

There’s still a lot of uncertainty regarding the direction the pandemic takes and how it’ll affect land-based casinos in Las Vegas. New variants are coming up, leading to updated restrictions to curb infection rates. So, measures like social distancing and operating from home as much as possible will still be in place.

However, with vaccinations picking up globally, the Las Vegas gambling industry may start to pick up soon. That’s especially after Nevada’s Governor, Steve Sisolak, announced the reopening of all counties in the state by June 2021. 

Which venues people will find open is subject to individual businesses following strict guidelines set by the CDC. That includes having masks on at all social venues and the provision of enough sanitation stations for guests.