By Kyle Bartlett
While almost all businesses are being hurt by this worldwide pandemic and economic crisis, I chose to specifically focus on the casino industry. The reason I picked this is because I have a first hand experience with it every day. The casino business is taking a hit right now that it might never recover from. Because of the uncertainty of this virus, it may be a long time before people want to go back to a crowded place where people all touch money and chips. Not to mention slot machines. There also is a business aspect that goes into this.
Since this pandemic has set in and we have all been locked in our homes, my dads work day has only gotten longer. I also see how it’s starting to fatigue him. Because while he has to look after his own family, he also has to worry about the thousands of people he employs who aren’t working right now. I can see the toll it is taking on him both physically and mentally. He explained to me that he has concern for the future of the casino industry. Mainly because people will be uncertain in a place that large and that crowded sharing currency after this virus. He also is worried if employees will even want to come back to work since unemployment pay is so high. I also asked him how he would compare this to times around 9/11 and he said there is no comparison. Times are so uncertain today because there is just no way to predict what tomorrow will bring.
This brings forth a future that is very uncertain. This could cause casinos and other large businesses to re-evaluate how they do business. I also wonder how online gambling will be implemented. My dad has been competing with these fast growing online betting sites. Whenever we see a commercial for Fanduel or any other online gambling service, my dad badmouths them. I wonder if this pandemic will force them to adapt however. Perhaps change over to the online concept which has been rapidly growing. After interviewing my father at length, I finally got him to admit he believes online gambling could be risky for some of his customers. One of the reasons for this is because people can’t go out to the casino or horse track, they spend their entire day in front of a computer or another device. The other thing that worries him is that most of these people have gambling addictions. On online gambling, you don’t have the physical money in your possession. This leads them to believe it isn’t real and does not have real value. While that will help the business, it will ruin some people’s livelihoods. While my dad is concerned with his business, he also is a human being and doesn’t want people to succumb to their addictions.
My father’s casino has recently put together an online site but it is still in the process of building and perfecting. He informed me however that since this pandemic began, the revenue of that online site has gone up 65%. This is the be expected because nobody is able to go to an actual casino. However this number is astronomical and could point towards the future of all gambling. He fears for that however because if virtual gambling takes over, it will render all of his employees obsolete. Since I am most likely going to enter this business, I will be keeping an eye on the changes the casino business sees in the near future.