We can’t talk about gambling without mentioning the coronavirus global pandemic, as this industry has been polarized by the misfortunate event. Land-based casinos have seen a substantial drop in revenue as most of them had to close their doors, while the number of players in online casinos surged by more than 50%. Since it’s no longer possible to play at land-based casinos at all, most traditional players flocked online to play free casino slots. Question is – will they ever come back?
As every new online player will discover, perhaps to his disbelief, the online gambling space is saturated with bonuses, promotions, reload bonuses, stellar slot games, virtual reality slots, immersive and innovative slots, live roulette and blackjack, free spins. Once a player starts playing online slots by NetEnt and similar top-level online game developers, often in the palm of his hand as he’s playing on mobile, it’s unlikely he’s coming back to same old slot machines with unknown theoretical payout.
Will players return to land-based casinos?
Of course, spending the evening at a land-based casino certainly has its perks. We at GamblersFever should know. The world of casinos is a world of luxury, decadence, hedonism and gambling on a long shot. There’s no thrill that can’t be had in Las Vegas, but is the thrill gone?
Las Vegas Sands, the largest casino company in the world whose stock price plummeted from $70 to $40 in a month, had its Macau casinos closed for a 15-day period. These casinos, that actually represent the largest source of revenue for the US company, had its doors reopened but the players have not returned. Why? Well, Macau is largely a fly-in destination, a Vegas of the East if you will. Since airlines have not resumed their flights yet, people can’t fly to Macau. It’s as simple as that.
Since Las Vegas is also a destination to which people fly from all US states, if the domestic air travel is halted, so is the influx of players. People in and around Las Vegas, the people who live there, are now the only pool of players for Sands, The Venetian (pictured above) and other Vegas casinos. We suspect these casino buildings wouldn’t grow so large if they depended on locals for revenue.
However, there’s another type of a land-based casino that will likely see good times soon. Casinos in cities, that depend on the local population for revenue, will soon reopen worldwide and they’ll be back in usual business. This goes for casinos in large cities with population of few million or more, but also for casinos in smaller towns – if that casino is the only one or one of few that are available to locals.
The one question that remains is – will these players even want to return to their land-based casino after experiencing the world of online gambling?