Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the US gambling market couldn’t be in more turmoil. The land-based gambling has all but ceased while online gambling is banned, leaving players no legal option to gamble. For people in many other countries gambling online is simply a matter of doing a search for free casino games or South African casinos, if you happen to be from South Africa, and that’s it. Online casinos at your fingertips. Will it ever be like that for us in USA? Let’s dwell on that subject for a bit.
Land-based casino prognosis
As Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Vegas Sands, knows too well, land-based casinos in the US have closed their doors and it remains to be seen when/if they’ll reopen. Even when the measures are lifted and people will be able to visit The Venetian and the other casinos, who will these people be? Until all air travel is reinstated and Americans start having holidays in Las Vegas, the Vegas casinos won’t have any other pool of players than the local one. And it’s unlikely that the casino buildings in Vegas grew so big because of local players.
Casinos in big cities will be in a far more favorable position. They depend on city inhabitants to come and play, and there will be no shortage of that. Same goes for much smaller gambling establishments in small towns – even if the pool of players is small, as long as it’s steady, you’re in business. In many ways, a dump in some small town is in a better position than The Venetian.
Online casino prognosis
The people who are preventing America from gambling online are, of course, the people from story number 1. The land-based casino people. For many years now they were able to continously prevent online gambling from taking over the landscape. It remains to be seen if the negotiating position of Vegas Sands and other casino companies has now improved or declined due to the pandemic. They now have the world to lose if online gambling is legalized – players are then never coming back.
We can’t expect any regulatory changes to emmerge from this situation. What we can expect is, however, Americans to get more used to the idea of gambling online. A person who has now started gambling online for the first time due to this pandemic has already got acquainted with all the nuissances of depositing and withdrawing money. When the pandemic measures are lifted, there is no longer a reason for that person to leave online gambling. Not now, when he’s already familiar with it and has his favorite games.
Situation is dire for land-based casinos and they will be actively searching for a way to get back in business. That will be much easier for casinos in large urban areas that depend on local players for revenue than it will be to fly-in resorts. Due to what is now essentially a ban on land-based gambling, online casinos can expect to keep having 50% more players than they used to have. This will lead to increased revenue for online gambling, and may finally shift this battle towards its conclusion and an inevitable win for online gaming.