Last year amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders and lockdown, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and other gambling cities became ghost towns. By April 2020, the unemployment rate in Nevada reached 28.2% — the highest of any state in the country and nearly double the national average of 14.7%, according to the Department of Labor. In addition, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA), 2020 marked the industry’s lowest total annual revenue since 2003, with consumer spending on commercial gaming falling to $29.98 billion, down 31% from 2019.
Fast forward to 2021, the story is completely different.
The AGA reported in May that commercial gaming revenue in the United States topped $11 billion in Q1 2021, matching Q3 2019 as the industry’s highest-grossing quarter ever. The AGA’s report indicates that more than half of states with commercial casinos saw quarterly gaming revenue increases over Q1 2019, with several states reporting record quarters. These results show gaming’s comeback is ahead of schedule, according to AGA President and CEO Bill Miller.
Las Vegas Is Coming Back
Las Vegas is recovering from the worst days of the pandemic. The city fully reopened and lifted restrictions on most businesses on June 1, though many casino resorts had already returned to 100% capacity before that with approval from state regulators.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board, according to the Financial Times, said that casinos on the Las Vegas strip recorded their highest gambling takings since 2006, despite the fact that international tourists have yet to return. The money going into slot machines — the socially distanced gambling option — has never been higher. Counting casinos across the entire state, the house took in a monthly record of $1.23 billion in May.
Conferences and events are also coming back to Vegas. In June, the World of Concrete held the first major trade show in the city since the pandemic, attracting “tens of thousands” of guests, according to event organizers. Big concerts are also starting, with Garth Brooks performing the first concert at the city’s new Allegiant Stadium.
However, it’s important to note that the good news for casinos is tempered by the highly contagious delta variant, with the number of cases rising in the state.
As people flock to casinos and potential liabilities at these establishments increase, it’s important to be appropriately insured. Distinguished Programs provides hotel-casino umbrella insurance with some of the biggest names in gaming relying on our protection. Designed for casinos and supported by industry experts, your clients will rest easy knowing they have the necessary protection.