The onset of the pandemic initiated an interruption or better still a reset in the casino industry as it basically caused a shift from land-based casinos to online casinos. Consequent to the fact that several gamblers were stuck at home due to the lockdown measures introduced in America and different nations of the world, customers of land-based casinos had to resort to online gaming as a means of fun and entertainment during the lockdown. Online gaming afforded gamers access to the favorite games as it offered most of the games available at land-based casinos prior to the introduction of lockdown measures by the government. With so many approved gadgets for playing online casinos, it was so easy logging in and playing the games from the comfort of the player’s homes. Games such as blackjack, poker, slots, and roulette as well as live dealer options were rendered to the players in order to provide a realistic experience. This switch from land-based casinos to online gaming reflected in the income generated in the industry. For instance, according to research, brick-and-mortar casino revenue dropped by nearly 44% to $1.5 billion in 2020 meanwhile internet gaming revenue increased by 101% to $970.3 million in 2020 internet gaming revenue increased by 101% to $970.3 million in 2020. The shift from land-based casinos to online gaming was particularly easy as it could be accessed through the use of smartphones, tablets, or PC. This is in addition to the fact that it encourages interpersonal competition among gamers.
A Projected Rise in Patronage for Land-Based Casinos
Just as the patronage of online gaming accelerated during the lockdown and the patronage of land-based casinos decelerated, the patronage of land-based casinos is likewise poised to experience acceleration now that the lockdown is over and things are returning back to normal. Those hitherto compelled to stay at home will now have the freedom of coming out to mingle with people just as it was prior to the lockdown. The lockdown brought about social distancing measures including a large-scale restriction on human gathering and movement. Therefore several industries were also affected and with the ease of the lockdown measures and consequent upon the landmark progress recorded in the fight against the virus, things are going to return to normal. The pace may not be abrupt or spontaneous as many would have gotten used to the new measures adopted during the lockdown and may initially be unwilling to revert back to the processes available prior to the lockdown, however, the rise of land-based casinos is imminent.
Man is a social animal and the need for social interaction is a deep need rooted within the core of the average individual. Regardless of the thrill and fun obtainable from playing video games online, physical gaming possesses a better entertainment credential. Entertainment is more fun when it is engaged with others in a controlled physical environment. Gaming evokes emotions and is best experienced within the confines of a physical environment rather than virtually. Apart from the allure of visiting land-based casinos to play games physically, it is worthy of note that both online gaming and patronage of land-based casinos are not entirely substituting to one another but rather can be complimentary of each other. This is because players can both play online and also visit casinos from time to time.
A note of Caution
Regaining back the customers that were lost to online gaming will also require effort from casino operators. They must be prepared to optimize their services and offer interesting bonuses to their customers which can build up their interest in coming back. They must not take for granted the fact that some previous customers may be undecided about sticking to online gaming or reverting back to their former love which is casinos. A positive customer experience on their return will go a long way in ensuring that the customers return back for more. The times have changed and the customers have realized that they now have a veritable option to land-based casinos, therefore they are likely to react differently to a poor experience after the lockdown that would have done before the lockdown. Their capacity for endurance would have weakened due to the realization of a credible option. Hence, casino operators must prioritize customer satisfaction like never before if they are really interested in getting back their customers and ramping up their revenues.
Now that the major contributory factor to the rise of online gaming is no longer present, land-based casinos are poised for a boost in patronage and revenues. This will be in the interest of the general public as well as this can create jobs and stimulate a rise in revenue for businesses operating around the casinos. The social experience available from playing at a casino cannot just be overlooked and this could potentially be a deciding factor in boosting its comeback.