by John on July 15, 2020

What expectations should casinos have regarding customer turnout

The casinos all over the world have started to reopen while following different rules and guidelines set in place regarding COVID-related health issues. But this might not be enough to attract a lot of customers and a lot of casinos might not see as much recovery as expected.

There have been many surveyed conducted to estimate the number of people willing to go back to gambling at land-based casinos and according to a survey of 1 000 adult US gamblers, published by Synergy Blue, a manufacturer of arcade-style casino games in late April 2020, there are interesting preferences and expectations of casino gamblers if they are willing to return to casinos after they have started to reopen.

And this survey turned out to be a very eye-opening one. Apparently only 51% of those surveyed said they will gable in casinos again once they have reopened. And it was also underlined by many that they won’t return without concerns. About 26& of those are planning to return only if the number of active COVID-19 cases reduces drastically. And only one-fifth of those surveyed are going to wait until the stay-at-home orders are lifted. And also another one-fifth will do so only after a vaccine for the new coronavirus become available.

This particular survey is corroborate by the experience of casinos in Macau, which have been open since February 20. Insise Asian Gaming has been carrying out spot checks of customers in different Macau properties during the last couple of months. 11 Macau IR, including  The Venetian Macao, Parisian Macao, Sands Cotai Central, City of Dreams, Wynn Palace, MGM Cotai, Galaxy Macau, Grand Lisboa, Wynn Macau, MGM Macau and StarWorld averaged just 1 main gaming floor players during any given midweek afternoon as of May 10. All of the counts were conducted on the afternoons of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And just so that the dastic decline in customer numbers becomes more clear to the eye, the amount of customers casinos owned by Sands China Limited used to attract before is about 200 000 a day.

Some analysts observe that visitor numbers in Macau casino properties remain dishearteningly low because of the tight border restrictions in place since late March. Such physical obstacles like cross-border travel restrictions, unavailability of transportation and physical quarantine requirement for customers travelling to or from casinos all make it extremely hard for customers to visit their favorite gambling venue. This is why reopening casinos is still questionable from a financial point. And even though some travelling restrictions have been lifted that doesnt’ mean that a huge change will be made in the number of customers because even dismantling legal barriers would not ensure a steady flow of gamblers.

If we judge the situation according to the Synergy Blue survey casinos may have lost about half of their existing customers. And at the same time, only 35% of those planning to return said they will go back to their usual casinos, and almost 3 out of 10 who aspire to return sad their choice of casinos would be determined by rewads and special offers.

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