In the Midst of Coronavirus, Online Gambling SoarsPublished March 23, 2020 by Elana K
While the outbreak of the coronavirus has shut down whole industries, online gambling is one of the few that stands to grow.
Coronavirus has taken a toll on sports betting, with most of the pro sports delaying their seasons and March Madness being canceled. However, while sports betting is taking a massive hit, online gambling is on an upward trajectory. The reason is simple: Casinos are shutting down and people are staying home - and online gambling is the perfect pastime for someone who’s cooped up inside all day.
As of now, casinos in about 3 dozen states have shut down, either voluntarily or by state governments. And while online gambling is only available in several states, two of those states are biggies: Nevada and New Jersey. At this point, Las Vegas has all but shut down because of the Coronavirus scare and Atlantic City’s nine casinos have also been shut down by the governor. Which means that online gambling sites are the only place that residents of these states can go to have some fun.
Spikes in Online Gaming Traffic
Online gambling operators have already reported seeing a significant increase in revenue over the past few days alone. The Golden Nugget, Atlantic City’s frontrunner, reported a 20% increase in new player sign-ups this month. Resorts Casino has seen a noticeable increase in online gambling. Rush Street Interactive, which operates BetRivers in New Jersey and PlaySugarHouse in Pennsylvania, has also reported an increase in online traffic.
However, while a few online casino operators are experiencing increased betting, it doesn’t make up for the loss that traditional casinos are taking. Hard Rock Atlantic City recently launched remote-controlled slot machines that players can play from home, but president Joe Lupo isn’t convinced that it will make up at all for the lack of in-person revenue.
The Future of Online Gambling in the US
States that have not legalized online gambling (most of them) are probably having second thoughts about it. Now, of course, it’s unlikely that lawmakers in any state will take any action toward legalization since most efforts are being focused on coronavirus containment. However, once the dust has settled, this may be a wakeup call to states to the advantages of online gambling.