Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, who recently tested positive for the coronavirus, said he might consider shutting down the state's casinos again, while acknowledging that trying to consider both economic and public health factors is like "walking a tightrope." As the pandemic rages on, other states have enacted new restrictions for casinos ranging from shortened hours and restaurant curfews to complete closures.
Pennsylvania saw a surge in online and sports gaming in October that lifted overall casino revenue 13% year over year, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. For the first month ever, sports betting and online gaming exceeded $500 million in wagers.
The number of tourists frequenting Las Vegas casinos has plummeted because of the coronavirus pandemic and recent acts of violence on the Strip, and cultivating a sense of safety and security will be essential to bringing visitors back, industry experts say. People will be more likely to travel again once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, but, in the interim, casino operators can attract customers by strictly enforcing face coverings, putting preventative measures in place and beefing up in-house security teams.
As a result of the pandemic, the completion of a $550 million expansion of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians' San Manuel Casino in Highland, Calif., will be delayed until the end of next year, with full use of the new space not expected until 2022. The project, which was expected to be finished by the middle of 2021, includes additional gaming space and a 17-floor hotel.
Apollo Global Management plans to purchase Great Canadian Gaming, a casino operator that owns 25 gaming, hospitality and entertainment facilities throughout Canada, including Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia. In a deal worth approximately $3.3 billion, Apollo will pay $39 a share to acquire the company.
Evolution now offers a Craps game online, and it features an interactive tutorial and beginner's mode to simplify the game for new players. "Craps completes the Evolution portfolio in terms of offering every game you can find in a land-based casino," said Todd Haushalter, the company's chief product officer.
Gaming regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. will now allow land-based casinos to accept online bets. The decision was made in an effort to assist casinos, including City of Dreams Manila and Solaire Resort and Casino, in recuperating significant revenue losses caused by the pandemic.
The Navajo Nation Council has approved the reopening of tribal casinos in New Mexico and Arizona, provided social distancing and sanitation guidelines are put in place and pending an approval by Navajo President Jonathan Nez. The resumption of operations would come despite a spike in coronavirus cases, and Dr. Jill Jim of the Navajo Nation Department of Health cautioned that "we're all at uncontrolled spread."
Advancements in virtual and augmented reality technology, such as special headsets and a 360-degree perspective, are allowing an online gaming experience that makes players feel like they are in a brick-and-mortar casino. Other emerging trends include applications for wearable devices, alternative payment methods such as bitcoin and facial recognition tech that staves off cyberattacks.
Casino Middelkerke, a casino-resort planned in Belgium, will be designed to look like a sand dune with a boulder-like structure on top in order to mirror the area's coastal landscape. The project, which will utilize recycled materials and sustainably sourced wood, features a rooftop area, which enables guests to enjoy a striking view of the North Sea.
- Page 1