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The harsh toll on US casinos due to pandemic restrictions

Senior Reporter

The aftermath of an overplayed lockdown has devastated many businesses across the United States, as well as the rest of the world. Millions of establishments were forced to shut down, leaving business owners scrambling and individuals stuck without resources and entertainment. The casino industry also took a massive hit during the pandemic and is still struggling from it by a large.

The harsh toll on US casinos due to pandemic restrictions
Eiffel Tower Las Vegas. Photo: pixabay.com

Although some land-based gambling establishments have been opening back up, the companies are still forced to follow strict regulations and social distancing. Many casinos had to limit their space, allowing fewer people to enter the buildings as if everyone wasn’t still going to breathe the same air through the paper-thin masks.

For instance, the state-mandated map shows that locations like Delaware, Illinois, New York, and Ohio can only allow up to 50% occupancy at casinos. Places like Michigan or New Mexico cap it at 33% or lower in some areas. Thankfully, this insanity hasn’t taken over everywhere, and most right-winged states are fighting for the freedom of casino owners and players who have the right to do as they please.

Restaurants inside the gambling facilities also had to abide by the new regulations, which allowed a maximum of six people per table. The other tables also had to have the same distance between them, forcing restaurants to make certain seating areas unavailable. This was a mind-boggling plan of geniuses who didn’t consider that people will be walking past each other regardless, touching the rails, seats and not wearing masks at the tables.

A combination of restrictions at both industries created a shortage of customers, leaving the facilities to pay the same amount of money for most bills. But not all owners could afford to do so, and many casino workers had no choice but to go on unemployment or find other jobs. All in all, an unnecessary mess took place that is now taking some hard work to detangle.

Another factor that played in is the online gambling industry, which quickly inserted itself into a slot. It began taking over the hearts of players who had no access to land-based casinos. But of course, it’s important to remember that not all casinos are suffering, and some are thriving now more than ever. Unfortunately, that includes small business owners and casinos that were at the beginning stages before the mass lockdown.

One would think that Sin City would prosper through it all, but it is not so. Many casinos in Las Vegas and other areas of Nevada have been struggling to stay afloat. Some even shut down without any hope for the future. So what exactly is happening now? Here is a brief record of what happened and is happening with casino closures:

In March of 2020, at least 973 casinos in the United States were forced to close until April.

As May rolled around, 52 casino locations finally got a green light to reopen under the condition of following strict regulations. By the end of May, 153 casinos were allowed to grant players a sense of freedom once again.

The month of June was a big one, as 441 casinos launched back up in the state of Nevada. There are now more casinos open than closed in the US.

By the end of January, most gambling facilities received permission to operate, but not many did due to massive holes in revenue.

So as we are here now, in 2021, we’re seeing the horrible aftermath of what was supposed to be a “safety concern” for the people. The survival rate for those contracting the virus makes this mass panic seem like a joke, but it stops being all that funny after seeing how much it disrupted the economy. The lives of people involved in the gambling industries have a devastating number of job losses, bankruptcy, drug abuse, and even suicide. Needless to say, the actions of the government have been completely disproportionate.

Is there hope for the future of casinos in the United States?

While many casinos are thriving, some remain shut for various reasons. In short words, the right-winged states may aid their land back to health quicker than the rest, giving casino owners hope for the future. However, the sickening mandates imposed by the officials in other regions may prolong the crumble of the economy, which may very well affect the re-opening of many gambling facilities.


While it’s impossible to foresee the future, it’s easy to see a few steps ahead if following the updated mandates, regulations, and news. The hope is that business owners will take back the free will to operate at their own discretion. As for players, there are always alternative options for casino entertainment - online gambling. It’s a wonderful way to pass the time and even support casinos that run dual operations offering both land-based and internet betting.

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