The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID19) and the related public health response have tested world leaders, economies and businesses across the globe. With what could be a long road to recovery ahead, the impacts already incurred by the gaming and travel industries have been substantial. A number of the world’s largest publicly traded gaming operators reported sizable yearover-year declines in revenues and earnings in the first quarter. Companies with greater exposure to overseas markets posted more severe losses as a result of earlier government-mandated closures during the quarter. In U.S. markets, most states shut commercial casino activity in mid-March, limiting the financial impacts to a two-week period for the quarter.
Governments responded to COVID-19 by restricting border crossings to reduce the number of people traveling between nations. While the public health benefit of these policies was positive, the economic and fiscal impacts are expected to be staggering. Taking international visitation as one example, the number of international arrivals to the United States, Macau, China, and Singapore in the first quarter of 2020 fell 31.6, 68.9 and 43.3 percent, respectively, compared to the first quarter of 2019. Many national and international travel restrictions have yet to be lifted more than halfway into the second quarter of 2020.