How Will Land-Based Casinos Survive Amidst The Pandemic
Land-based Casinos in Atlantic City Go All-In
Hard Rock Atlantic City is going to spend at least US$ 20 million in renovating 66 Celebrity suites and 25 Roxy suites in its resort in Atlantic City. All of the resort’s standard rooms have also been upgraded. It will also include additional slot machines, new outdoor beach amenities, and even a Starbucks.
Caesars Entertainment, Ocean Casino Resort, and Bally’s are reportedly spending US$ 400 million, US$ 15 million, and US$ 90 million, respectively, for renovating their various properties in Atlantic City.
All resort owners agree that Atlantic City needs to be enlivened as quickly as possible. Revenues are declining, the gaming industry has become extremely competitive and with new technologies transforming online casinos, land-based casinos have to become better to call new crowds.
Impact of Covid-19 on Land-Based Casinos
96% of the entire US gaming workforce have lost their jobs. Casinos also faced increased costs on account of cleaning and re-arranging their entire interiors to adhere to social distancing norms. The revenue has fallen steeply as most visitors keep away from casinos due to the raging pandemic.
While land-based casinos have started to re-open now with limited seating, restrictive social distancing norms, and other regulations, most of the crowd has stayed away due to the pandemic fear. Fortunately, a silver lining is that 41% of the US population has been vaccinated at least once, and 31% has been completely vaccinated.
Good News for Online Casinos
People have still found a way to enjoy gambling activities without having to visit a casino physically. Global Poker, a research firm, has found that the US saw an incredible 255% increase in first-time online poker players. Sniffing a burgeoning opportunity, sportsbooks and online bookmakers have diversified to include eSports, virtual sports betting, and online casino games.
The online gambling market size is expected to reach US$ 92.86 billion by 2023. Many online gambling companies are investing in building mobile phone apps (for increased reach), Artificial Intelligence (for improving customer experience and fraud detection), and technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality (for immersive experience).
Impact of Online Casinos on Land-Based Casinos
Land-based casinos have seen reduced foot traffic mainly due to the pandemic. Moreover, online casinos have developed games that can’t be hosted physically in land-based casinos. This has driven many curious visitors and gamblers to sample new online casino games.
On the other hand, the authentic experience of being dealt hands by an experienced dealer, the very celebratory aura around the casino, the lights, and the music accompanied by food and drinks is missing in online casinos. The public is desperate to go back to normal life, and the land-based casino is a part of normal life for many.
Currently, online casinos attract new players and younger players, which has in turn popularized land-based casinos amongst them. It is estimated that once the world opens up, land-based casinos will see a huge turn-out again.
Many market observers believe that land-based casinos and online casinos will complement each other.