How COVID-19 Affected the US iGaming Industry

December 14, 2020

People have been forced to stay home ever since the pandemic struck earlier this year and despite the federal government lifting a complete ban on public gatherings, businesses have been slow to catch up. In the face of adversity, the land-based gambling industry is slowly recuperating to pre-COVID levels, while the revenue from online gambling has helped support the economy during the downtime.

Sports betting caught up in the past couple of months as the major leagues slowly returned to the small screens. While a few American casino chains with an iGaming portfolio managed to make the best of the situation, a few others with overseas operations, especially in Macau, are wishing for better days, since the Chinese government is yet to lift the ban on gambling in the region. Thus, affecting gross revenue.

The iGaming Boom

The US probably has the most complicated online gambling laws in the world. The nation is home to over a thousand brick-and-mortar casinos, a large part of which is owned and operated by the tribes. iGaming is illegal in most states, although a growing number of regional authorities have taken an active interest in the activity in the last couple of years.

However, the state-licensed casinos cannot accept players from areas outside the state borders. This leaves enthusiasts with just one option – signing up on off-shore platforms. There is a catch here too! Not all off-shore operators are US-friendly, which limits the choices substantially.

As a growing number of people opt for online gambling, the operators have seized the opportunity by offering an array of attractive discounts to lure the maximum activity. Welcome bonuses commonly include cashback offers, match bonuses, free spins, and the likes and you’re sure to come across a bunch of great deals.

The Second Wave of COVID Infections

Pennsylvania announced new regulations on indoor dining, theatres, casinos, and gyms for the next three weeks as the number of COVID infections steadily increases. At the same time, the state of Virginia instructed citizens to remain indoors between 12 and 5 A.M.

“The virus continues to rage across Pennsylvania. And we clearly need to take bold steps to mitigate its impact. While we all hoped that it would not have come to this, the current state of affairs forced our hand to take these painful but necessary steps”, said Pennsylvanian Governor Tom Wolf.

In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam announced a nightly curfew but did not specify the intensity of the activity. Virginia reported over 4,398 new coronavirus cases last week and 21 deaths, an increase of 41% since the last two weeks. The new regulation also prohibits public gatherings of more than 10 people who don’t live together.

“I know Christmas and Hanukkah are cherished events but the Holidays look a lot different this year as some traditions are just not possible. As we usher in a new year, I see hope and optimism in the next couple of months and things are bound to get better”, Governor Ralph added.

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