It has been more than two decades ago when casinos went online. Since then, so much has changed and today, many are starting to prefer gambling online instead of visiting land casinos.
Ever wonder if land casinos will survive the rise of online gambling? Well, this is something we’ll dive right into so keep on reading.
The online casino industry has been steadily growing over the last few years. However, when the pandemic started, the growth of this gambling sector was boosted. Lockdowns forced casino players to find another way to gamble since some land casinos had to temporarily close.
This is where many found online gambling a solution. They would go to one of the best online casinos like 24K Casino to play their favorite games. And once they started playing online, that’s when they realize how convenient online gaming can be.
The Effects of the Pandemic on Land Casinos
Now that the pandemic is waning over and even if most land casinos are fully operating again, many are still sticking to playing online. This is why land casinos are still slowly recovering from the effects of the pandemic.
During a business panel at the International Casino Conference at ICE London, Monaco casino owner Pascal Camia spoke about how his business had experienced a tough challenge since it wasn’t that simple to move their services online.
He said that when his casino finally reopened, it also wasn’t easy because of the travel restrictions in place. It was tough for them because Monaco has a small population. Camia said, “2020 was very difficult because before in Monaco, we had a large mix of clientele.
“But now we had to take care of our local markets only because East European markets weren’t allowed to come. So, we invested in electronic roulettes because having four dealers is very expensive. And we attracted a lot of the younger market and also women who weren’t then intimidated by the dealers. We also invested in renovating rooms for the high rollers.”
However, other land casinos took the opportunity to work on improving their locations instead. This is what Soper and Scheri were able to share during the conference. Scheri said, “When we closed down we had an opportunity to invest in making some changes that normally would impact our operation.
“For example, changing the carpet in one of our casinos. We usually need to do that while we’re open but we took advantage of the downtime. Deep cleaning, same thing, you know, sometimes you’d have to close the restaurant for a week to do a deep clean, we were able to take advantage of that during the two months that we were closed.”
Scheri also went into detail about how things still improved in their business since re-opening. He said, “What we noticed was record-level volumes, both from visitations and from spending. There were not a lot of other entertainment options so we were attracting new customers.
“They’re coming perhaps not to game but to eat, to enjoy whatever entertainment we will be able to do and at the same time stay in the hotel. It was just a place to get away to.”
Based on what land casino owners shared during this event, many of the land casinos were negatively impacted by the pandemic.
The pandemic also changed the landscape of the industry. This is why they should be considering how they could gear up for such happenings, especially regarding public safety, employee flexibility, and physical distancing.
Should Land Casinos Go Online Instead?
Most of the casino businesses that thrived at the height of the pandemic are the ones with online services.
Likely, more land casino owners are now considering extending their services online. In the US, this is what popular gambling brands do like Wynn Resorts and MGM. Both have businesses in casino hotspots like Las Vegas but they are also some of the best online casinos in the USA for real money.
In Monaco, Soper also touched on the subject a little. He said, “Everybody’s vying for those customers. We’re very fortunate that we operate in three states where we can have that online product.
“It’s going to be imperative for land-based casinos to adapt over time to tie their land-based products and experiences to be online. You know, whether it’s through the loyalty program, whether it’s through marketing promotions, whatever the case may be.”
However, even if online casinos are starting to be the more preferred option by many, land casinos are going to thrive for a long time. They are now seen as tourist destinations and the truth is that nothing will beat the land casino experience. So for now, we can say that land casinos will survive despite the growth of the online sector.