As lockdowns are gradually lifted and countries around the world return to work, many land-based casinos are slowly beginning to open their doors once again. This week, 20 casinos in Oklahoma welcomed their first visitors, and Nevada casinos set a target date of June 4th to get back to business. Bizarrely, some Brazilian casinos look set to reopen soon despite the country’s death toll climbing at a frightening pace.
However, in some other places such as Singapore, decisions were made to keep casinos closed while other sectors of the economy reopened. In South Korea, the reopening of the country’s only legal land casino, Kangwon Land, had to halt plans to reopen due to the re-emergence of the virus.
It’s unclear what the total financial impact of lockdowns on these land casinos has been, but we can tell by looking at the 6-month charts for the share prices of many of them that they’re not in the best shape financially.
- Las Vegas Sands Corp closed at $47.94 on Friday, a long way off its high of $74.06 in January.
- MGM Resorts closed at $17.18, down considerably from its high of $34.54 in January.
- Even online operators are feeling the pinch. Playtech shares closed the week at £264.70, down from a yearly peak of £406 in January.
Will the gradual reopening of world economies and casinos cause these share prices to recover before the end of 2020? That’s unclear, but it’s a safe bet that casino operators will be betting on a V-shaped recovery.
Live Casinos Still Hot
Understandably, many casino players are proceeding more cautiously, and it’s safe to say that many will not rush back to land-based casinos just because they have reopened. For more cautious players, live dealer casinos still represent a great alternative.
Indeed, we reported several times since global lockdowns began that live game operators like Evolution Gaming have been touting record revenues. As players from the UK, Europe, and elsewhere found themselves with nowhere local to play, many turned to live casinos like Mr. Green, PlayFrank to satisfy their urge to gamble.
With every table and card game at their fingertips, many players will be wondering if returning to land casinos is really worth the risk. For many, the answer will be no, and the live gaming boom is likely to continue throughout the rest of 2020 even as land casinos slowly and cautiously begin to reopen.