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Corona Virus In New Jersey: How Is It Affecting Gambling?

The panic surrounding Coronavirus is causing disruption worldwide. People are being asked to work from home, advised to avoid public areas, and venues have been forced to shut their doors to avoid spreading the virus. All of these precautions are having an effect on the usually bustling New Jersey casino scene. As people attempt to self-quarantine to protect their health, casinos are not getting the same level of visitors as they usually would. In this article, we take a closer look at the effects of the Corona Virus on the New Jersey Casino industry.

The Casinos

money

As you can likely imagine, casinos are high-risk locations for the spread of the virus. Not only due to the social aspect where you interact with fellow players and sit in close proximity to other casinos attendees, but the practicalities of a real-world casino too. Cards, chips and slot machine buttons and levers are all communal and pass dozens of hands on any given day. It takes just one person with the infection to hold one of these casino objects and then suddenly, many other people may come in contact with it. All in all, what makes casinos a fun place to be is also what is making them a bad place to be during this period of virus spreading. Hence why, those who are not dedicated to casino gameplay are tending to shy away from attending casinos as they can be feeding grounds for the virus. Of course, this is costing the casinos serious losses with each passing day the virus is active. If there is no one to play the games, the bills to run these empty venues are racking up.

Resorts

The nature of New Jersey casinos has a unique problem of their own. Most casinos in New Jersey are part of a resort and many make a large share of their income from the hotels, restaurants, swimming pools and other services that make up a casino complex. These too are suffering the effects of the virus as they are basically being left deserted. There are very few people out there who are looking to relax in the resort or go for a swim when this virus is present, so are staying away from these resorts. Alongside the payment for a stay there, there is also the issue of no revenue coming in from food or drinks being sold there either. With travel bans and cancelled flights becoming more frequent as the pandemic spread, this is likely going to get worse as time goes on and those who are still there at the moment leave with no replacements. This is particularly an issue for casinos, as a large share of their guests come from places like China, the epicentre of the epidemic, and this portion of guests and their revenue is lost from the get-go.

New Jersey casino

Employees

As we have mentioned, casinos can be determined to be high-risk locations for spreading the virus. However, the most prone to these risks are the employees- specifically those in control of the cards and tables. Of course, those who work on the bar and in the restaurants are susceptible but those who handle the cards and the chips have the biggest cause for concern as it is literally their job touch the objects in the casino most likely to have traces of the virus. As such, these are likely to be the most at risk of getting the virus. Furthermore, even if they do not, laws that are dictating that employees stay away from the workplace mean that even if they wanted to do work, they are being advised not to. Plus, with fewer guests, there is less need. All in all, this means that casinos are either understaffed or paying staff despite them having little to do or for staying at home.

Online Casinos

One of the saving graces for the industry at the moment is a large number of New Jersey Casinos with an online counterpart. Many of the biggest casinos and resorts have at least one online version, with many having a few that use their license in order to operate due to laws that require an online casino to have a brick and mortar version. This will quench some of the financial thirsts that the casinos are suffering and ensure at least some cash flow during these troubling times. These have been proven already to help see the casinos still proposer even during smaller periods of bad business, such as stints of bad weather. However, unlike their European counterparts where online casinos make up whole business models, in New Jersey, the online casinos are just a drop in the ocean for their revenue. As such, while it will keep the lights on for a short period of time, trying to sustain their bricks and mortar casinos, alongside resorts, hotels and staff is not realistic.

Casinos in Atlantic City and elsewhere forced to shut down.

The Implications

In terms of the reality of the situation and the implications the current crisis will have in the long-run, it is early days. An immediate lack of revenue will no doubt already have been witnessed by these casinos and the longer these period goes on the higher than the loss of cash flow will continue. A comparison would be in Macau, China, where all their casinos were also closed due to the virus. Here they saw revenues drop by 88% in February alone. Ideally, the influx of online players to their casinos will grow and help fill the void in their finances, but it would have to be significant. Even this may have a longer effect if players realise the benefits of playing online as opposed to in real-world casinos as they could stay away forever.  


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