The US gambling industry, which COVID-19 has harmed, has received invaluable support from casino operators.

Who would have imagined that COVID-19 could have such a negative impact on the global economy just a year ago? When the pandemic first broke out, most people thought it would be a minor setback that would fade into a dramatic story of declining revenues, closed facilities, and higher-than-ever jobless rates. No one can deny how much the world's economy has suffered due to the still-ongoing pandemic. The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination has only just begun, and it will take a long time for its effects to be felt, implying that the economy will continue to struggle in the meantime.


The coronavirus had a negative influence on almost every industry, with some feeling it more than others. This is no different in the gambling sector. It saw some of its land-based gambling sites close for a few months while others stopped operating altogether. The American Gaming Association (AGA) has produced a new report that details the financial losses suffered by the casino sector in the United States and what casino owners have established social responsibility policies to assist communities in dealing with the pandemic.

According to the data, the number of gambling establishments that have ceased operations due to the pandemic is approaching 1,000. More than 650,000 casino employees were placed on unpaid leave or laid off due to the shutdowns. Over 550 towns that relied heavily on gambling money have had their main source of income disappear. Compared to 2019, the gaming market in the United States saw a 30% reduction in revenue in 2020. As a result, the gambling industry in the United States lost more than $100 billion.

General consumer trends

In terms of how we feel, how much money we have, and how we spend our time, current consumer trends give crucial context for analyzing the gaming business.

According to Savanta research, 25% of the population has had their mental health significantly impacted, and loneliness has been a problem for many, with an ONS study from June 11-14 revealing that 26% of respondents felt lonely at least some of the time.

There has been a significant financial impact as well, according to the Savanta research, with 40% of people reporting a fall in discretionary income. While we spend an excessive amount of our time at home, we have noticed changes in how individuals consume news and entertainment. This is particularly true among gamblers. Those who have gambled in the last four weeks were more likely than the national average to have done the following in the last two weeks, according to YouGov data up to 18 June:

  • More money was spent on entertainment on the internet (17 percent of gamblers compared to 13 percent of all adults)
  • Spending a lot of time watching TV (50 percent of gamblers compared to 42 percent of all adults)
  • More on-demand entertainment was consumed (48 percent of gamblers compared to 40 percent of all adults)

Impacts of the Gambling Industry

All retail gambling establishments closed on 20 March. This meant that activities that ordinarily generate 50%  of the total market (excluding lotteries) ceased to exist. Licensed Betting Operators were the only gambling establishments allowed to open (in England) on 15 June, though National Lottery tickets could still be purchased in a retail environment. However, the availability of retail locations has decreased, as has the impact of fewer consumer shopping trips.

The Commission's collection of operator data from March 2020 to March 2019 provides the first glimpse into the market's changing form and size.

Despite pandemic-related limitations, lockdowns, and capacity concerns, several casino operators did not waste time assisting their communities in dealing with the crisis. The American Gaming Association stated that gambling companies significantly contributed to the country's implementation of all essential preventive measures, which would hasten the recovery process. Casino owners put some of their money toward masks, protective clothing, and other items needed to stave off the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, they made use of existing logistical networks to distribute coronavirus test kits across the states quickly. There have been multiple instances of casinos being converted into immunization clinics.

“These excellent testing resources have helped to protect the health of residents and visitors while allowing our economy to recover safely and gradually.”

-Scott Kerbs, the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada's public relations manager

Given the large number of casino employees who had lost their jobs, casino owners were doing all possible to assist them and their families in getting through the difficult times. Several casino owners agreed to continue paying their employees despite the lockdowns. A growing number of them have established disaster relief accounts via which past and current employees can obtain financial support. Many experts predict that, even if the economy remains unstable due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, gambling companies will continue to help their communities in this difficult battle.

“They did everything they could to support each other with the safety and security procedures that were put in place to protect those that came to town,said Andrew Walsh, deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

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The coronavirus had a negative influence on almost every industry, with some feeling it more than others. This is no different in the gambling sector. It saw some of its land-based gambling sites close for a few months while others stopped operating altogether. The American Gaming Association (AGA) has produced a new report that details the financial losses suffered by the casino sector in the United States and what casino owners have established social responsibility policies to assist communities in dealing with the pandemic.

According to the data, the number of gambling establishments that have ceased operations due to the pandemic is approaching 1,000. More than 650,000 casino employees were placed on unpaid leave or laid off due to the shutdowns. Over 550 towns that relied heavily on gambling money have had their main source of income disappear. Compared to 2019, the gaming market in the United States saw a 30% reduction in revenue in 2020. As a result, the gambling industry in the United States lost more than $100 billion.

General consumer trends

In terms of how we feel, how much money we have, and how we spend our time, current consumer trends give crucial context for analyzing the gaming business.

According to Savanta research, 25% of the population has had their mental health significantly impacted, and loneliness has been a problem for many, with an ONS study from June 11-14 revealing that 26% of respondents felt lonely at least some of the time.

There has been a significant financial impact as well, according to the Savanta research, with 40% of people reporting a fall in discretionary income. While we spend an excessive amount of our time at home, we have noticed changes in how individuals consume news and entertainment. This is particularly true among gamblers. Those who have gambled in the last four weeks were more likely than the national average to have done the following in the last two weeks, according to YouGov data up to 18 June:

  • More money was spent on entertainment on the internet (17 percent of gamblers compared to 13 percent of all adults)
  • Spending a lot of time watching TV (50 percent of gamblers compared to 42 percent of all adults)
  • More on-demand entertainment was consumed (48 percent of gamblers compared to 40 percent of all adults)

Impacts of the Gambling Industry

All retail gambling establishments closed on 20 March. This meant that activities that ordinarily generate 50%  of the total market (excluding lotteries) ceased to exist. Licensed Betting Operators were the only gambling establishments allowed to open (in England) on 15 June, though National Lottery tickets could still be purchased in a retail environment. However, the availability of retail locations has decreased, as has the impact of fewer consumer shopping trips.

The Commission's collection of operator data from March 2020 to March 2019 provides the first glimpse into the market's changing form and size.

Despite pandemic-related limitations, lockdowns, and capacity concerns, several casino operators did not waste time assisting their communities in dealing with the crisis. The American Gaming Association stated that gambling companies significantly contributed to the country's implementation of all essential preventive measures, which would hasten the recovery process. Casino owners put some of their money toward masks, protective clothing, and other items needed to stave off the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, they made use of existing logistical networks to distribute coronavirus test kits across the states quickly. There have been multiple instances of casinos being converted into immunization clinics.

“These excellent testing resources have helped to protect the health of residents and visitors while allowing our economy to recover safely and gradually.”

-Scott Kerbs, the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada's public relations manager

Given the large number of casino employees who had lost their jobs, casino owners were doing all possible to assist them and their families in getting through the difficult times. Several casino owners agreed to continue paying their employees despite the lockdowns. A growing number of them have established disaster relief accounts via which past and current employees can obtain financial support. Many experts predict that, even if the economy remains unstable due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, gambling companies will continue to help their communities in this difficult battle.

“They did everything they could to support each other with the safety and security procedures that were put in place to protect those that came to town,” said Andrew Walsh, deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

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