Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak causing all casinos in United States to close at some point in March 2020, our outlook for gaming revenue growth in 2020 was forecasted to be in the +2% to +3% range as compared to 2019. The societal impact from the COVID-19 virus is severe. The economic effect of the COVID-19 virus has already caused a very abrupt and significant key points such as:
- As of April, nearly 95% of our population in at least 41 states and Puerto Rico were being locked down.
- This has relaxed some in some states, but
- As of December, more cases are being recorded.
- The rate of reversal of the societal and economic factors will take much longer to overcome than they were incurred.
- The damage to the lifeblood of casino gaming, personal levels discretionary income, as willingness to spend same will take time to recoup.
- However, and probably more important, are the yet to be seen implications from a personal safety perspective that many of our patrons will be seeking safety over fun for what also may be an extended length of time.