No one can argue that land-based casinos faced a crisis when Covid hit. Brick-and-mortar operators experienced seismic disruptions to their business patterns during the initial months of Covid lockdowns. People remained confined to their homes, discouraged from non-essential travel, and worried about visiting public places due to the infection risk it posed. However, now that recovery is in full swing, casinos are filling up with visitors eager to enjoy some gambling entertainment.
Yet, some people wonder if they will ever be as popular as before, especially since some US states have introduced online gambling. Here is an analysis of casino trends:
Change is an inevitable reality in most industries, and launching online casino games created a new gaming dimension that many people feared would put land-based casinos out of business. Indeed, online gambling is a popular option among people who want to spend half an hour indulging in some slots or table games without leaving the house.
Online gambling has become so convenient that most people use their smartphones to play mobile casino games. Online operators offer apps that users download and use when gambling on their phones. When players use a desktop computer, they visit the casino’s website to play.
Casino operators have embraced the online gambling phenomenon, with many land-based casinos seeking online licenses to run both platforms in parallel. However, they have had to analyze what online gambling would do to the foot traffic through their brick-and-mortar facilities’ doors. Nonetheless, it seems that there is room in the market for both options.
Online gambling has become as common as using cryptocurrency in business in many areas worldwide. However, the American market is only starting to emerge. Not all states have legalized online casinos. Indeed, those that have remain in the minority, with New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware among their number. Other states, like Louisiana and New York, are processing legislation passed to allow online gambling.
Therefore, land-based casinos remain more popular in America when examining the numbers. America’s casinos are divided into two categories: tribal and commercial. Tribal casinos operate on Native American reservations, regarded as sovereign territory. They exist because of the Indian Gambling Regulatory Act of 1988 that allowed these establishments to open. As it stands, 29 American states have tribal casinos.
Commercial casinos operate on Native American land, run by American business entities. 18 American states have commercial casinos. Looking at the proportion of tribal and commercial land-based casinos to online options, it is logical to suggest that brick-and-mortar casinos remain popular. However, will that last, given the rise of iGaming?
What land-based operators are doing
Land-based casino operators rely on the ambiance of a visit to a casino to continue attracting customers. Most would agree that online gambling is fun, but it is a poor substitute for the real thing.
Additionally, brick-and-mortar facilities offer so much more than gambling, including eateries and live entertainment. By continuing to do so, land-based casinos are expected to retain a significant market sector.