The sports betting industry lost around $140 million. That’s just in one weekend when the NCAA canceled March Madness due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, the American Gaming Association estimated that the industry would lose $43.5 billion in the next couple of months.
In Las Vegas, casino floors are empty. You will not see guests drinking, dining, and placing bets. The industry was not prepared for the shutdown. That’s the reality everyone in the gambling industry is facing right now.
As the United States implement measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all amateur and professional sports suspended their games. Also, the federal government advised people to stay at home and distance themselves from others.
Coronavirus Pandemic and the Gambling Industry
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered a ban on casinos and other non-essential businesses for at least a month. Based on sportsbook PPH reports, the outbreak came in a time when sports betting exploded drastically in the U.S.
Since the Supreme Court overturned the PASPA Act of 1992 last May 2018, there are 20 states and Washington D.C. with legal sports betting. In 2019, bookie pay per head analysts estimated players wagered $150 billion in legal and illegal sportsbooks.
The economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak goes beyond gambling. As of Friday, most of the commercial and tribal casinos in the U.S. closed. As a result, more than 600,000 workers are out of work. Their total yearly wages are around $74 billion, according to bookie software reports.
If casinos remain closed for two months, it can lead to $43.5 billion worth of damage to the nation’s economy. Most players turn to online sportsbooks and casinos to satisfy their gambling needs.
However, sportsbooks are having a hard time looking for sports to bet on. They have expanded their markets to include KHL Russian Hockey League, Mexican and Turkish soccer leagues, and virtual horse racing.