The Closure of Land-Based Casinos in the USA and Canada
Canada has taken a drastic approach to cut the virus from spreading as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has ordered all land-based casinos to be shut down until further notice. Due to the closure of all casinos, seasoned gamblers may take to online platforms.
All non-essential business operating within the United States of America has been ordered to shut down for 30 days due to the COVID-19 virus. It will surely be a strange sight to see the Vegas Strip with no lights. Many are expecting the closure to last longer than what had originally been anticipated.
On 22January 2020 Macau experienced its first outbreak of the COVID-19 virus due to two individuals being infected as they had been travelling from Wuhan, China. This led the region to take drastic measures and secure lockdown as more cases seemed to pop up. On 4 February 2020, all casinos were instructed to close for 15 days.
How This Affects the Gambling Economy
There would be a drastic effect on the Canadian gambling economy due to the amounts in revenue being lost as their casinos are closed. Another factor that has to be taken into account is the number of workers which will be forced to stay home as their part of the industry. This could lead to millions of dollars being lost as well as many lawsuits going around due to the lack of financial aid coming from governments to casino owners.
In the US, the situation seems to be graver than ever with a reported $21.3 billion lost so far and a total of 67,000 jobs being terminated for the period. This means that there would be a drastic cut to the workforce in the state of Nevada alone. Many big casinos have reached out to the government in hopes of a financial bailout should things go further south in the next few weeks. Unions are up in arms as they aren’t getting the compensation needed for the jobs that are being lost and the wages that won’t be paid to industry workers during this period.
The situation in Macau seems to be clearing up even though a reported 88% decline in revenue within the month of February has been reported. Nevertheless, they have still managed to make a profit of $386,5 million within the same month. The situation however, cannot be compared to Las Vegas as they will be completely shut down for 30 days and lose Billions more than its Asian counterpart.
How are Online Casinos affected?
As regular casino goers are now forced to stay home under lockdown, the one industry still experiencing normal business activity is the online casino industry. An increased number of new players signing up daily and more activity of existing customers have been registered throughout all Canadian Online Casinos since the beginning of lockdowns and quarantine measures to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 in North America. Given the boredom of being locked up inside the house, casino games provide a welcome change to the monotonous everyday routine and entertain the audience, who is in dire need of fun and positivity.
Players who are usually frequent guests of Canada casinos like Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls Casino or Casino de Montreal to name only a few of the many closed establishments, can enjoy playing from the safety of their home without fearing to contract the virus. Socially it might not have the same appeal, however given the situation it’s the best compromise casino players can reach.
Hopefully the situation will get back to normal soon and casino enthusiasts will be able to choose between online casino entertainment from home and going out to a landbased casino as they please.