Casinos joined the entire entertainment industry in suffering through 2020 and beyond. I have a great idea. Why don’t we close down all non-essential businesses for three weeks to flatten the curve of virus infections and deaths? Does that sound like a good idea? Here we are, over a year later, and we have all been on a roller coaster ride of closings, openings, closings and unprecedented restrictions on our activities. This article will examine the impact of the pandemic on casino revenues.
Of course the obvious revenue hit was bad, but casinos also were required by multiple regulatory agencies to spend millions of dollars on barriers between players and employees, employee testing, air filtration systems, masks, cleaning and disinfectant supplies, plus additional staff to monitor compliance and ensure mask wearing. Too bad we didn’t all invest in plexiglass futures! While the efforts were set forth as necessary, for how long can be debated. The added negative impact on players’ enjoyment of the casino and resort experience for short-and long-term is difficult to measure.