December 7, 2020
Just a few months into the pandemic, online casinos witnessed a major rise in demand. And as the world struggles with the second phase of COVID-19, iGaming revenue is rising on a steady curve once again.
While New Jersey crossed a monthly total of $93.5 million in revenue during October from online casinos and online poker, the Pennsylvanian iGaming industry posted $59.8 million in total revenue during the same period, setting a new record for the state. The two US states along with Nevada form the gambling hub of the nation and these figures are a strong indicator of the recovering market.
“Speaking purely from a business standpoint, the market is recovering well. More people were focusing on online casinos, which helped the market attain new heights between Q2 and Q3”, said Max Bischel, the Vice President of US Business and Gambling.com.
This is quite remarkable as no major college or professional leagues were held between March and May. Bischel claims that punters who would otherwise wager on the major sporting leagues were temporarily betting at online casinos. But now that sporting events are slowly getting back on track, the punters haven’t entirely moved away from blackjack, roulette, or poker. Instead, they’re spending their bankroll on both.
“Sports betting figures are slowly climbing to pre-pandemic levels, although the activity at online casinos hasn’t bogged down as projected. It’s difficult to predict the fate of the industry if not for the pandemic. But the current scenario bodes well for the future”, Bischel added.
Many land-based casinos haven’t been as lucky. The US casino industry recently sought relief from the federal government as the states lost over $2 billion in taxes during the four months of lockdown. The Las Vegas Strip is a prime casualty as gross annual revenue declined by over 30% in 2020 compared to the figures posted last year.
“Destination-focused casinos are in deep trouble. Take Atlantic City or Las Vegas for instance. While casinos in Philly or Chicago continue to thrive”, Bischel continued. Furthermore, he projected that the increasing demand for online casinos is unlikely to have a detrimental effect on physical establishments as the target audiences are different.
“I doubt there’s a correlation between brick-and-mortar casinos staying open and the popularity of online casinos declining. While there is bound to be some overlapping, the repercussions aren’t serious. Based on past experiences when players had the chance of visiting a casino or playing from the comfort of their homes, the customer base is entirely different”, Bischel remarked.
And the trend won’t change in the next few months as the mercury continues to dip. “Cooler weather promotes online casinos and the trend should be more visible this year due to the pandemic”, remarked Valerie Cross, Senior Analyst at PlayPennsylvania.com.
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