What will happen to Las Vegas during the Coronavirus outbreak?

Those who thought that the land-based casino industry of Las Vegas would be immune were obviously wrong and today, The Strip is dark for the first time in many years.

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

The coronavirus pandemic took everyone by surprise and now looks unstoppable, causing havoc all over the world. Those who thought that the land-based casino industry of Las Vegas would be immune were obviously wrong and today, The Strip is dark for the first time in many years. The inevitable has finally happened and gambling fans need to look for entertainment elsewhere because Las Vegas casinos are shutting down. The economic fallout caused by the coronavirus outbreak is likely to get even worse.

Las Vegas casinos will struggle to stay afloat

2020 is far from over, but so are any hopes of Las Vegas casinos making a profit at the end of this year. The future looks particularly unpredictable and nobody knows for sure how long the pandemic will last. The US authorities have forced gambling operators in Las Vegas to close their doors to the general audience. This was advertised as a temporary measure, but by looking at what happens all over the world, it is likely that the directive would be extended for at least a few more months.

The S&P 500 Casino & Gaming Index is in freefall and even the largest casinos in Las Vegas are witnessing shocking slumps in their stock prices. Smaller casinos are even more troubled by this unfortunate direction in which the land-based gambling industry seems to be heading. Those who don’t have the immediate liquidity will almost certainly go bankrupt when the cash flow ends abruptly. During good days, Las Vegas casinos pay a lot of money in taxes, but now they can barely keep the ship afloat.
Each day that passes with the casinos closed means that the gambling industry from Sin City will dig itself in an ever-deeper hole. Some casinos were already struggling with fewer customers well before they were ordered to shut down. That’s because people were already practicing social distancing and were reluctant to spend time in crowded places. Nonessential travel was also canceled by many travelers, so fewer people found their way to Las Vegas and its glamorous casinos.

The future looks bleak for land-based gambling

Internet sports betting bookmakers that are listed by the popular casino comparison websites are struggling with most of the sports events being canceled, but the best slot sites thrive during these days. People are compelled to spend more time indoors and they have a lot of time to kill, so online casino games are an excellent choice for many. By comparison, land-based operators can’t accept customers and their entire business depends on a steady flux of people. This hasn’t happened since 1963 when John Kennedy died and it could take much longer for the casinos to reopen.

There’s a lot of uncertainty regarding the coronavirus outbreak and governments have bigger fish to fry than land-based gambling. Even though the Las Vegas industry generates a lot of money for state and federal coffers, the benefits are dwarfed by the potential risks. Local casinos will stay closed for a long time and continue to pile up losses, so when the pandemic finally ends, only the strong will survive.