After 2020 brought many challenges for casino operators in the US, the industry is ready to begin its recovery. Some 54.8% of the senior population is already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 75.1% have received at least one dose. This means that it may be the seniors that would help the industry start recovering from the devastating hit of the pandemic.
More Than 50% of the Population Age 65+ Has Been Fully Vaccinated
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many industries, including the gambling industry across the United States. Despite the increase in online activities, many land-based venues indicated millions in losses last year. Although 2020 proved to be difficult and challenging for many land-based operators, the recovery of the industry may start as early as this year.
Looking at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released yesterday, we see that approximately 32% of the population in America has received at least one vaccine dose. On the other hand, fully vaccinated is 18.5% of the population or 61,416,536 people. Further breakdown of that data shows that 23.2% of adults age 18+ have been fully vaccinated. However, looking at the population age 65+, we see that 54.8% of the people have been fully vaccinated. Furthermore, 75.1% of the people, age 65+, have received at least one vaccine dose.
Considering that more people have access to vaccines, and many have already been fully vaccinated, undoubtedly, many Americans may start holiday traveling. While oftentimes it is millennials that are leading the way forward, this time, it may be the seniors that would start the recovery of the gambling industry.
Will Senior Gamblers Ignite the Economic Recovery of Casinos in Las Vegas?
Although the US is yet to shake off the COVID-19 pandemic, many operators in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world, are ready to welcome back visitors. Operators have already indicated that older gamblers have started to return to the casinos. Last month, during an earnings conference call, Blake L. Sartini, Chairman and CEO at Golden Entertainment, a company that operates casinos and taverns in Nevada, Montana, and Maryland, indicated that visitors 65 and older started to “trickle back in”.
One reason why senior gamblers can lead the industry recovery is money, which they can spend on entertainment. The various lockdown measures introduced in each state, combined with reduced traveling, resulted in many seniors saving money during the pandemic. With more than 50% of the senior population vaccinated, now, many of those seniors would start traveling, which will undoubtedly result in a boost for the hotel and gambling industry across the US.
Although operators in Las Vegas are ready to meet more visitors, Nevada remains cautious until more casino employees receive COVID-19 vaccines. Currently, the venues in the Silver State are allowed to operate at 50% reduced capacity, and strict health and safety protocols.