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As Land-Based Casinos Still Seek Recovery From The Pandemic, Nevada is One State Contemplating a Change in Legislation

As Land-Based Casinos Still Seek Recovery From The Pandemic, Nevada is One State Contemplating a Change in Legislation

There is no denying that the events of the last 15 months have affected many industries. Various restrictions across the globe have resulted in places being forced to close, tourists unable to travel and people not having the disposable income they once did for entertainment. 

Although there have been many industries that have been affected by the events of the pandemic, there is no denying that casinos are one of the most affected. Across lots of countries where non-essential services were restricted, land-based casinos have been forced to close, in many cases for a good part of 2020. There is no denying that this would have had an effect – being closed simply means a lack of funds coming in, however, in many cases outgoing costs were not significantly reduced.

How Have Land-Based Casinos Been Affected?

Different countries dealt with the results of the pandemic differently, but across many of them, land-based casinos were forced to close. Across the UK for example, land-based casinos were closed for much of 2020 and a significant part of the start of 2021. This meant that they would have been unable to trade at all and as such been able to generate any income. In others places where land-based casinos were allowed to stay open, they were forced to social distance, which meant that they had to restrict the number of people that are allowed through the doors at any one time. 

On top of that international travel has been restricted which means that tourist places that usually attract a large number of casino goers were unable to do so. Places such as Nevada rely on the tourist trade bringing in large amounts of people that are happy to spend money – not only at casinos but at other places of entertainment throughout the state. 

What’s Happening in Nevada?

Gambling rules in Nevada are complicated – on one hand, they were the first state in the US to offer mobile sports betting, on the other hand, there are no online casinos active in Nevada. As land-based casinos still seek recovery from the pandemic, Nevada is one state contemplating a change in legislation. As online casinos are not currently allowed in Nevada, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) is meeting to discuss whether online casinos should be allowed. Although online casinos are allowed, there is some legislation that comes under scrutiny as it does not mention specifically whether poker is allowed or not.

There are mixed feelings about allowing a free reign on online casinos within Nevada because so much of the money into the state comes from the tourist trade. Much of the tourist trade is driven by people who want to experience a gambling holiday. As such, many people worry that online casinos will take the shine off of this and result in people turning to online options instead.

A big part of this will be due to how reliant we have become on the internet for entertainment since the pandemic started in March 20202. People who like to place bets have had no choice but to use online facilities as they could not visit land-based casinos. With so many people now more comfortable with using online options, there is a worry that if these were to open up in Nevada, people would be much more tempted to continue on in this way. 

Will Land-Based Casinos Work With Online Providers?

One theory is that there could be more partnership between online and land-based casinos. For example, perhaps if you play online you could win free tickets to play in a land-based casino. This is a way of ensuring that customers are tempted to visit, even if they have enjoyed playing online. It may also be that land-based casinos continue to operate their own online options. 

If there is one thing that many businesses have learned over the past year and a half, it is that having a backup plan is always a good idea. Although throughout much of the US it does appear to be reaching the end of the pandemic, there are plenty of people that are nervous about it happening again – especially when the weather turns bad. Now businesses across all sorts of industries are able to be much more prepared and as such, if Nevada does allow this change in legislation, they are able to make sure they are ready should the same happen and they are forced to close.

What Can We Expect To See In The Future?

Local restrictions in Nevada are due to be lifted from the 1st of June which means that we may see people start to visit land-based casinos again; although facemasks are likely to stick around for a while. The good thing about facemasks is that we are all used to wearing them, so even if these remain mandatory it is unlikely to put people off of visiting. 

Realistically none of us can predict what the future will hold, however, many people are certain that the rest of 2021 will still see reduced travel and consumer spending. People who are hoping to rebook holidays and make travel plans are tending to plan for 2022 rather than this year, especially as 2021 is quickly passing us by. This is great news for industries such as tourism where they can be more confident that 2022 will be a positive year, but it does mean that 2021 still looks uncertain. This is especially true for countries where Government funding and help will stop, as technically the industry has been able to open its doors again.

As such, we’re likely to see all industries adapt how they work and what they offer their customers. Reaching people online is the best way to reach the largest customer base, especially as you don’t have to worry about whether they will be able to travel to you or not. As such, casino operators in Nevada are likely to be hoping for a positive outcome to the changes in legislation that are being discussed.