After more than two months under lockdown, the US is beginning to emerge from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) enforced shutdown.
But what will the post-pandemic casino experience look like for players and operators? In this issue we have our new contributor Cole Rush assess the measures put in place by the sector to protect players, while still offering a fun and engaging in-venue experience.
We also examine the impact of the pandemic on certain verticals; for example, poker has been enjoying something of a renaissance, with revenue and player numbers rising in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Jake Pollard speaks to 888 Holdings and PokerStars about what’s driving this growth, and how likely it is to be sustained when sports resume.
Lottery, meanwhile, has seen its traditional retail channel disrupted by Covid-19, forcing state operators to consider a digital future. Joanne Christie speaks to some of the major state lotteries and suppliers about how the pandemic has affected their future planning.
While it may only be offered in three states currently, online casino has also been enjoying a particularly successful period, at a time when advocates are calling on land-based operators to reconsider the benefits of an igaming offering. Paul Girvan focuses on Pennsylvania’s market data to ascertain whether there is in fact any danger of brick-and-mortar revenue being cannibalized by an online component, which has been the enduring argument against online expansion in a number of quarters.
We’ll be tracking these issues and more daily on the iGB North America website, so please check in there for your day-to-day coverage of the key issues.
The pandemic has also resulted in iGB’s parent company Clarion Gaming postponing the ICE North America show until spring 2021. It will be replaced by ICE North America Digital, a week-long series of panels, interviews and presentations that will run from May 11 to 15. We hope as many of our readers as possible will be able to join, and with some digital networking opportunities, the iGB North America team will be available to meet remotely.