For most US casinos, the opening weekend of March serves as the beginning of an annual gambling holiday. However, things are now different during the pandemic of 2020. Where you would typically find people eating, drinking, and placing bets, now sits an empty floor. No one had prepared for something like this, especially those in the gambling industry. As the US tries to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, everyone is advised to self-isolate. As such, all professional and collegiate sports in the US were suspended. Even in a city like Las Vegas, which is the heart of the gambling industry, the Governor banned all casinos. This article provides an overview about gambling in the US during a pandemic.
1. Economic Impact
The suspension of gambling activities in casinos comes just as legalized sports gambling became popular all over the US. Last year, the American Gaming Association suggested that $150 billion is gambled worldwide. As of early March 2020, almost 90% of America’s commercial casinos locked their doors. This move affected about 98% of the casino workforce, which is around $74 billion in annual wages. This amount further translates to about $43.5 billion in damage to the country’s economy.
2. Other Impact
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the world hard, with notable venues closing down operations. If the shutdown continues, major players could become bankrupt. Gambling drives other businesses, such as lodging, entertainment, and liquor sales. All these operations are currently drying up. Additionally, no one can guarantee that customers will return after the pandemic is over. Most people will still fear social gatherings and air travel. Since no one can oversee the resulting scenario, shareholders in the gambling industry must take protective measures.
3. Wagering Activities
With the ban on almost all ordinary betting opportunities, there has been a rise in other wagering activities on some betting sites. Some of these activities have questionable legality. For instance, some betting sites have started taking bets on the maximum temperatures in various cities around the US. Such ventures may create severe issues for the sports betting industry.
4. Simulated Gambling Reality
In an effort to make up for the lost revenue, the gambling industry has become creative. Most betting sites have now introduced new games to their websites based on events such as TV series and presidential debates. The interest in esports has seen a rise since the middle of March. Without real games, people have shifted their attention to simulated sports. However, the simulation of the suspended events is currently unregulated. Casinos will now use the internet to keep their customers entertained. If you are a bettor, visit new US online casinos to discover the various casinos that can keep you busy during this pandemic.
The pressure on the government to collect taxes during this pandemic may lead to the loosening of regulations for online gambling. Even though it is painful to lose the March Madness, this is not the apocalypse. The government continues to take measures to contain the virus. Hopefully, everything will return to normal so that the halted sports events can resume.