The pandemic may have closed most casinos in the U.S., but many online casinos continue to do better than their land-based counterparts. Gamblers now see the safety of online gambling as the ultimate social distancing.
Using the case of Atlantic City as a guide, almost all the online casino options beat brick-and-mortar casinos hands down. Gamblers took to the internet for online gambling when the pandemic forced the closure of most U.S. casinos. But now that the casinos have opened, they still struggle to make up for lost time and money. But online casinos are crushing it.
Revenue for all 9 Atlantic City land-based casinos totaled $264 million in July, down from $335 million the previous July. But online sportsbooks took in nearly $300 million during the same month, with no signs of slowing. According to PlayNJ.com analyst Dustin Gouker, this trend shows no signs of changing as the pandemic continues.
“It will take some time before Atlantic City rebounds from the closures of the last few months, but we have at least turned a corner in the market with the return of the retail sector,” Gouker said in a statement. “However, online casinos and sportsbooks should drive the overall market as long as the pandemic continues.”
Only Ocean Resort showed improvement compared to last year, taking in $23.6 million in July, compared to $19 million last year. Some experts attribute the discrepancies in profits to phased reopening. Some casinos opened on July 2 while others opened later in July.
After casinos closed, cabin fever began setting in during lockdown. This is where online casinos came in, throwing out a lifeline for bettors to keep the action and entertainment going. While closed land-based casinos continued to bleed money daily during lockdown, online casinos showed a huge bump in profits. Without the daily costs of continued payroll for thousands, property leases, and bank loan debt, online casinos could operate in pure profit.
After land-based reopened, many of them saw spikes in coronavirus cases, prompting strict safety rules, reduced patronage, and fines for violations of safety protocols. Meanwhile, online casinos continue to show profit.
As major sporting events are being canceled for the fall season, sports betting revenue is expected to fall across the board. Pro and college sports teams could play televised games from empty stadiums, but after several St. Louis Cardinals players tested positive for corona, sporting events could be canceled outright. This would have a huge impact on sportsbooks online and on land.
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