The pandemic was a low point for so many people and businesses. For many, the big problem was not being able to go out and socialise, with shops, cafes, restaurants, casinos, and other businesses forced to close their doors. This hit home hard for casino operators in Las Vegas, where the main source of income is from people visiting the city and playing in the casinos.
Las Vegas Casinos During the Pandemic
There is no need to look at the numbers to understand how hard Las Vegas casinos were hit during the pandemic. They were asked to close their doors and therefore, no one was playing casino games in Las Vegas. It is not as if there was a small or even substantial reduction in the usual numbers of people entering casinos in Las Vegas, not one person was playing casino games during the pandemic, period. It was a hugely worrying time for the casino industry, especially in Las Vegas which relies on visitor numbers to get people through the door. As the vaccinations were rolled out and the number of people falling seriously ill reduced, Las Vegas casinos could re-open with restrictions. As social contact was still a risk, masks were to be worn and people were forced to sit further away from each other when playing games.
What Did People Do Without Las Vegas Casinos?
Those who live in a region of the United States where online casinos are legal, turned to their computers and mobile devices to play casino games. The number of people playing online casino games, not only in the United States but across the world, shot up. Being stuck at home, people searched for new ways to entertain themselves and that involved playing casino games. Some live casino games were still in operation as the dealer could work alone and these were a suitable alternative for those who could not play at land based casinos. However, for those residing in Nevada, playing online casino games was not an option as the state has made online casinos illegal. This makes sense considering the major draw of visiting Las Vegas is to play in the land based casinos. One alternative to traditional iGaming for people living in Las Vegas was sweepstake casinos. You can find out more about sweepstake casinos at https://gamble-usa.com/sweepstake-casinos/ but because they do not use real money to play games, they are not considered illegal in Las Vegas. Virtual currency is used to play the games at sweepstake casinos and they provided plenty of entertainment for people living in states without legal iGaming.
Las Vegas Getting Back to Its Best
If we go back to February 2022, there were significantly more people visiting Las Vegas than the same month in 2021. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority conducted a study and it showed visitor numbers were up by almost 70% in February 2022 compared to the previous year. In terms of gaming revenue for Clark County, the total in February 2022 was $949,870,000 and that is up 6.4% compared to February 2019, which was pre-covid. Focusing specifically on Las Vegas and gaming revenue for February 2022 was $599,131,000. This was up 71.9% year-over-year and up 1.2% compared to February 2019.
Fast forward to August 2022 and visitor traffic was up by 6.4% compared to 2021 and this shows Las Vegas is moving in the right direction. The numbers highlight how Las Vegas is returning to pre-covid levels and while it is always fun to play online casino games, it is great to have Las Vegas up and running.