The pandemic of the COVID-19 disease caught the world off guard. From its early days in China in the earlier part of 2020, the virus managed to spread uncontrollably across the world and its threat resulted in numerous lockdowns and shutdowns of the economy of various countries. A lot of industries were affected as businesses that were not considered essential were closed down and forced to cease operations temporarily. One of these industries is the gambling industry, mainly the casinos and betting places across the country.
Being a state known for its colorful and lavish high life and its grand casinos, Las Vegas USA has long been considered to be the place to be if you want entertainment and a grand gambling experience. However, casinos have been closed down for most of the year as part of health and safety precautions. But although the gambling economy of Vegas has been hit seriously by this pandemic, the rising popularity of the online casino industry seems to bring hope. But can it give the Las Vegas gambling industry its much-needed boost?
How the pandemic changed the casino industry
Although the casinos are starting to go back into operation, they are only allowed to operate on a limited capacity and in a very controlled environment. Although players are now able to visit their favorite casino, the experience is never the same again.
Aside from strict health and safety protocols such as wearing of face masks and heavy disinfecting of both the players themselves and the facilities used, part of the major changes would be the landscape of the casino itself, and the general layout principle when it comes to games.
Now, instead of the old and usual “cram them in all” type of layout, casino owners would be forced to put a considerable distance between gaming machines and tables. Slot machines would have a gap between each other and table games like poker, roulette, and craps would only be able to accommodate a limited number of players, most likely only half of the usual capacity.
Justin Carter, vice president of Hollywood Casino Toledo, spoke at the recent American Gaming Association’s Global Gaming Expo that was held online. He mentioned that “one thing the pandemic has taught me is that some of the conventional wisdom about how you design a slot floor, how many machines you put nearby, isn’t as effective.”
Even if casinos go back into action, it might not look like it used to until everything normalizes and the requirements for the minimum health standards have been lifted and life has returned to the normal as we knew it.
So, until then, how can the Las Vegas casino scene stay alive and relevant? Would the popularity of the iGaming industry be able to help?
How the online casino industry come to play
To say that online casino gaming can help boost Las Vegas gambling is arguable since the operations of most online casinos are not based in Las Vegas after all. However, what it can do to help is to make keep the activity of gambling alive and relevant.
Through online casino gaming, people are still able to enjoy their favorite games and they are still able to gamble like they used to–although not in the same experience. What the iGaming industry is doing for the entire gambling industry right now is holding the door as it threatens to close down because of the changes brought about by this pandemic.