The 2020 period has been very challenging for the entire world. There was no industry left that was not affected by the global pandemic which had a direct impact on the global economy.
The last one is connected with every field and the impact was dramatic in the case of many industries. Some businesses were forced to close their activities or continue working remotely, which still had an impact on the average revenue. Surprisingly or not, even in the US the industries were heavily impacted economically, especially the entertainment industry, such as gaming or casinos, as they were not able to open their space for a long period of time. However, as of today, we see positive trends in terms of making those businesses work again as the vaccination process is going rapidly.
Gaming sales in the United States have recovered to pre-pandemic levels
Commercial gambling sales in the United States have recovered to pre-pandemic levels. According to a study released Monday by the American Gaming Association, revenue in the first quarter reached $11 billion, exceeding the industry’s highest-grossing quarter in history. Revenues increased by 21.1 percent from the previous year. The statistic, according to AGA President and CEO Bill Miller, indicates that the gaming industry is “ahead of schedule” in its recovery.
With power and amenity constraints still in place throughout the world, the gaming industry is producing these remarkable results with one hand bound behind its back. The industry has faced various obstacles during the COVID-19 pandemic while also reopening safely and maintaining a clean, entertaining experience for customers. In the first quarter of 2020, commercial sales across the United States increased by 21.1 percent sequentially and by 17.7 percent relative to the first quarter of 2019, when casinos across the world went dark to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Gaming’s first-quarter results prove that it is not only a common medium of entertainment but that people are happy to return to activities they loved prior to the Great Shutdown. Although regional casinos were among the first to reopen, the industry as a whole is roaring back, with almost every casino now operational.
The industry’s success in March, which saw the realization of pent-up demand and the return of March Madness, was largely responsible for the gains. According to the AGA, it was the highest-grossing sales month in the history of commercial gaming in the United States. In March, Nevada had the largest monthly average gaming win in over eight years, with a total win of $1.067 billion. In the first quarter, thirty states and the District of Columbia provided commercial gambling. According to the AGA, more than half of all states saw sales boost in the first quarter of 2019 relative to pre-pandemic levels, with some states posting record quarterly earnings. The reason for the decreased demand for the gaming industry was first, the economic conditions, and secondly, customers were more restricted with the options. Due to the fact that people were working from home, the main and most popular option was to play live roulette and some others too. It is no doubt that the industry engagement was not with the same frequency as before the pandemic.
In the first quarter of 2019, brick-and-mortar casino games accounted for 90% of the company’s sales. Sports betting sales in the United States saw a quarterly high of $961 million, surpassing the full-year average of $909 million in 2019. In the third quarter, online casino games raised $784 million, more than tripling the previous year’s earnings. Many brick-and-mortar businesses in the United States are also subject to COVID-19-related prohibitions.
According to the AGA, 97.8% of the country’s 464 commercial casinos were open by the end of the first quarter. Many casinos, including those in Nevada, continued to run with capacity limits. While a few Nevada casinos will now run at full capacity, the majority are still limited to 80 percent or less. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak hopes to reopen industries to full capacity by June 1.
Casinos are gearing up for a comeback
As the 78-day coronavirus-induced casino closure in Nevada hits its one-year anniversary, many reports see a ray of hope. The only issue is that the tunnel is very long. According to the American Gaming Association, sales in the professional gaming industry in the United States fell to a 17-year low of $30 billion in 2020, down 31% from 2019. All expected that, and an upbeat outlook will be that now that most properties have reopened and are having increased casino floor capacity and visitors returning, there’s nowhere to go but up.
For a glimpse of the optimism, look no further than MGM Resorts International, which reported last week that it would resume 24/7 operations at The Mirage, Mandalay Bay, and Park MGM on March 3. Although some businesses have concentrated on keeping their doors open and paying their reduced workforces after the pandemic, some have started to invest in digital technological infrastructure in order to better serve consumers as they recover.
Unique quarantine procedures for travel between the islands and the mainland have wreaked havoc on Boyd’s most important sector. Boyd has spent years perfecting the pipeline between Hawaii and downtown Las Vegas, but the company’s return to normalcy can’t come soon enough. Boyd and its nearby casino competitors, Station Casinos, have fared well in the wake of the pandemic, as expected by gaming industry observers. Boyd and Station’s parent firm, Red Rock Resorts, were among the first casino firms to post a profit in the fourth quarter.
With the fourth-quarter earnings season nearly half over, local and regional companies are faring better than their Strip counterparts, owing to the government’s virus protocols, which have shut down or severely limited the amenities the Strip is known for quality entertainment, fabulous restaurants, big-time professional sports, and renowned spas. Now it’s time to move on to the next chapter. State health officials and the federal government tend to be on target to offer vaccines, and the public has become more accepting of the injections. There’s a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel. It would take a bit more perseverance to get there.