When the COVID19 pandemic started, everyone believed it was a momentary disruption for the industry. But after a year, it is nothing but plummeting revenues and skyrocketing unemployment. Even though the vaccines are rolled out, but the impact, will be felt after few months only. The global economy thus will continue to suffer.
The casino industry is one of the worst impacted during the pandemic. Many properties were shut down for months. Few never opened again. A new report of the American Gaming Association (AGA) revealed the amount of the impact. It also highlighted the implementation of new social responsibilities of the industry to cope up with the situation.
The report reveals that at least 989 casinos in the US closed due to pandemic. This resulted in 650,000 employees furloughed or terminated. The economy suffered at least $105bn and 564 communities suffered that relied on gaming operations. The first 11 months of the year saw a drop of 32% in revenue on a year-on-year basis.
However, the report hails the effort of the gaming operators for acting immediately on the procedures. Starting from wearing masks, to ensuring social distancing, the operators took on the challenge. The operators also ensured to implement measures in the supply chain for coronavirus tests and distributed them.
The operators distributed food for the gaming communities in a difficult time. There were many operators who continued to pay their employees during the tough time. Emergency funds were also created for financial assistance of the distressed during the pandemic from the gaming community. Even though the economic condition continues to be not so prominent, but the operators are putting all efforts to move forward.
The report includes a statement from Andrew Walsh, the deputy chief of Las Vegas Police Department, Homeland Security,
“The best thing I can say about the gaming industry during the pandemic is that to them it wasn’t a competition to see who could reopen their properties first…They did everything they could to help each other with the safety and security measures that were put in place to protect people who came to town.”