How Coronavirus Could Spell the End for Some of America's Biggest Casino Resorts

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In the wake of COVID-19, most US casinos have closed their doors. As customers take their business online, will casinos bounce back when the outbreak is over? Snapwire/Pexels

As the coronavirus pandemic sets in around the world, businesses of all types are feeling the strain as customers are forced to stay home. In the US, some of the most popular casino resorts have had to do the unthinkable and close their doors to the public. Instead, gamblers are taking their business online, using review sites like bestonlinecasino.com to find American online casinos.

It's hard to imagine Las Vegas without twinkling lights and bustling crowds, but that has now become a reality. On March 17th, Nevada's Governor Steve Sisolak ordered a 30-day period of closure for all businesses, which included Vegas's most iconic attractions. Sin City is now a ghost town, and it is looking increasingly likely that the lockdown will be extended even further.

How long can Las Vegas cope without it's gamblers? Casinos across the US must now look to other countries and learn how to adapt quickly. In Macau, one of the most popular gambling draws in the world, casinos have reopened. However, bettors must now take careful and strict precautions. 

Casino-goers have their temperatures routinely checked as they enter the premises. Masks must be worn at all times and food and drink are prohibited at gambling tables. These measures can help to curb the spread of the virus, but only if people stick to them rigidly.

Macau relies on its casinos for around 80% of its revenue. With much of the population staying at home, casinos are reportedly losing between $1.5 million and $2.6 million every day. The consensus is that business will be slow for a while, as most of Macau's visitors from China are not ready to make the trip just yet.

It will have wait to be seen to if know if these measures are really effective enough to combat the outbreak. What is certain is that life after COVID-19 will not be the same for America's casinos. When casinos do reopen, it is unlikely that it will be business as usual straight away.

Online Casino Growth

While casinos are shut, gambling firms must rely on any means that they already have to bring in revenue. For the most part, this means online casinos. As large swathes of the population are currently self-isolating, online casinos are growing in popularity.

Nowadays online casinos offer far more that the usual video slots. There are live table games, which featured remote dealers. Esports and virtual racing are also becoming increasingly popular with bettors. All of these offer great opportunities for remote wagering.

When casinos in the US do reopen, will people still want to visit real life casinos? It is likely that casino-goers will be put off visiting crowded placed for some time, particularly if temperature checks and facemasks become the norm. In comparison, online gambling could remain a more attractive option.

For large bookmakers that already conduct a significant portion of their business online, this will simply mean a shift in focus. It could be costly, but ultimately they still have cash flowing in to pay for it. Casino resorts that are founded on spectacle and glamour will suffer more. 

These businesses are run with hotels and serve as places for events, parties and concerts to be held. They are reliant on crowds with money to spend, both of which will be in short supply once the outbreak is over. While people are stuck indoors, gambling online may serve as a way to pass the time, but few will want to spend their disposable income on a costly trip to the casino.

Before casinos were routinely shut, some did experiment with special measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Wynn Resorts planned to screen body temperatures as customers entered the building. Other casinos turned every other slot gaming machine off, so that players were spaced out.

In the short term such measures might seem productive, but they do not serve practically as long-term solutions. Sadly, COVID-19 could spell the beginning of the end for America's casinos. President Trump's $2 trillion stimulus package may offer some relief to struggling businesses, but it may come too late for businesses that go bust. 

It is estimated that for every month that Nevada's tourism industry is closed $4.7 billion is lost. American Gaming Association President Bill Miller has projected that casino closures will cost the US economy in the region of $43.5 billion over an eight week period. These figures paint a grim picture, but if there's ever been an industry that can conjure cash from thin air, it's gambling.

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