US Brick & Mortar Casinos Doing Well Despite COVID-19 Capacity Restrictions
Casinos across the US are reporting solid revenues despite the restrictions on capacity due to COVID-19.
Across the United States, casinos have been reopening over the past few months in a limited capacity. For the most part, the venues have been allowed to open back up with restrictions in place of 15 to 50 percent capacity. This is to try and keep the percentage of coronavirus cases at bay. The number of players allowed into a venue depends on the state as well as the size of the casino as well as COVID-19 positive case counts. Over the past few weeks, we have seen revenue totals rolling in that show the casinos are faring well by way of revenues, despite the lower capacity allowances. Below are a few examples of states that are seeing revenue increases without a large influx of players allowed inside.
In the state of Ohio, there are both casinos and racinos in operation. For August, the state saw their best earnings for the month at $172.1 million. This comes from 11 facilities total. When compared to August 2019, the amount comes in at 4.7% more this year. This is equal to $7.7 million.
The facilities in Ohio are limited to 50% capacity. The venues are conducting temperature screenings of guests and employees as well as games are separated for social distancing. Table games have Plexiglass dividers to protect the players and the dealer.
The Hollywood Toledo Casino brought in the largest revenue share at 33% with almost $23 million in earnings. The property did so well due to the nearby casinos in Detroit being closed at the time.
Maryland Sees Similar Results
Another state to see nice revenue results despite the pandemic is Maryland. The state pulled in $149.5 million in August. Surprisingly, this was lower than August of 2019 by just over 3%. However, the number was one of the best months ever for the state.
Maryland is also taking safety and health precautions to ensure that employees and guests remain safe while on-site. They are practicing social distancing, promoting hand washing and cleaning the facilities regularly to provide a clean and healthy environment. The casinos in Maryland are also reduced to 50% capacity.
The smaller casinos in Maryland were able to see gains in August with Hollywood Perryville climbing 6% while the Rocky Gap venue was up a whopping 15%.
Pennsylvania Fares Well
While the August totals are not out yet for Pennsylvania, we can look at the July numbers to see how well the industry is doing. Just two months ago, the Keystone State earned over $283 million. This was an increase from July 2019. The casinos in the state are operating at 50% capacity like many others across the US.
The success in Pennsylvania involves both online and land-based gaming. The state launched online gambling just over a year ago, so while players might not feel comfortable going to the casino, they can easily log online and play from home.
The lower capacity percentages, players unable to travel from out of state and fear of the coronavirus have been factors that weigh heavily on casino operators’ minds. For many, it was expected that revenue numbers would be low as the casinos are offering limited services and players might not be willing to travel during a pandemic to visit the properties.
However, that does not really seem to be the case and it will hopefully only get better as the weeks go by.
Operators are hopeful that revenues will continue to increase and that a vaccine will be created that makes people safer and more comfortable to get back to regular routines, including visiting casinos for dining, entertainment and of course, casino games.