Foundation of Land-Based Casinos Continues to Crumble in 2021

Published February 22, 2021 by Lee R

Foundation of Land-Based Casinos Continues to Crumble in 2021

Online play is the lifeboat of the casino industry, as suggested by new player data.

In a surprising twist, new data about player preferences indicates that permission to re-open will not be an automatic solution for the economically ravaged land-based sector.

Lingering Reluctance

Because the players may not come back: a study by Omnico research group found that 77% of players are reluctant to visit land-based casinos in 2021, due to the same reason land-based casinos were shuttered for so much of 2020.

Specifically due to real and perceived threats of Covid, over one in four Omnico respondents said they would not visit land-based casinos at all in 2021.

Study Group

The study group was comprised of over 4,000 UK and US consumers was contacted, with less than 900 calling themselves casino-goers, so the results have significant ramifications both for expansion and current players.

The Need for iGaming

The figures and sample size would indicate that expansion opportunities are 25% of what they were pre-Covid and that current players would not be inclined to return to land-based gaming, with the understanding that the iGaming option online has been established as a potential risk free gaming option.

More Behavioral Context

The player behavior was further informed by the diversity of opinions expressed in same study research when respondents were provided with different scenarios.

Casino visitors indicated more willingness to return to land-based casinos in 2021 if the right technology and health safety measures were in place, at a rate of 54% of casino-goer respondents.

The Safety Factor

Further, 86% of players expressed a motivation to research a land-based casino's Covid-19 safety measures before booking, and another 61% acknowledging their willingness to visit elsewhere if a casino's standards were not satisfactory.

Another key caveat from research was the 28% of casino-goers saying they would only visit casinos with “contactless” customer experiences.

2021 Forecast

The well-known shutdowns of 2020 caused sever drops in land-based casino revenue in 2020, and these new study results point towards the projection that 2021 revenue will continue to bottom out for land-based play, with some possible recovery equaling a modes portion of 2019 pre-Covid figures.


The ominous sign for land-based play is not good for land-based operators, but the industry as a whole seems poised to offset land-based losses through online offerings.

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