Online Gambling Grows in the US as Land-Based Casinos Remain Closed

The coronavirus pandemic has created chaos and major change across the United States. Tens of millions of people are unemployed. People are staying inside their homes due to stay at home orders in the hopes that they do not contract the deadly virus. For over two months now, many states have seen non-essential businesses remain closed. This includes casinos. For states with legalized online gambling, the lack of land-based gaming has led to an influx of online gambling. Players are logging in at record rates to access slots and table games online.

Huge Revenues in April

The month of April marked the first full month that land-based casinos were shut down due to the coronavirus. In Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the lockdown resulted in huge revenues for online gambling operators.

Each state recorded record revenues as well as for total handle. In the stats below, online gambling refers to poker, slots and table games.

For Delaware, they have the smallest market in the US. In April, the state generated $28.5 million via player handle which was over 74% more than the previous month. When comparing April of last year, that number balloons to over 138%. Revenues came in at $856,182, which is a whopping 225.4% more than April 2019.

New Jersey saw even more by way of earnings, bringing in a record $80 million for the month. This was a jump of over 23% when compared to March. When looking at last April, the totals came in over 118% higher.

For Pennsylvania, the state was just as successful. They were able to break the one billion mark regarding handle, seeing players spend $1.4 billion. This was almost 60% more than what was spent in March.

What’s Pushing the Increase in Players?

There are a few factors to consider when it comes to the increase in online gambling in these states. Of course, with the coronavirus pandemic, players are at home more, and in need of entertainment. Because of consumers being at home, sites are seeing new signups. This leads to new traffic and more revenues.

In Delaware, the month of April recorded just over 1,400 new players. For some, online gambling might not have been as appealing because they could go to a land-based venue. When the casinos shut down, they then turned to online gaming to play slots and table games.

Another big reason that online casino numbers are up is due to sports betting. Since mid-March, sports have been essential non-existent in the US. Betting options have been limited and even though there have been ways to wager, on esports or table tennis, sports bettors are moving to casino gaming.

Those who traditional bet on March Madness had to find something else to wager on. They turned to online casinos and apparently liked what they found as the table game handle in Pennsylvania and Delaware both saw growth. Players are opting for blackjack, baccarat, poker and other games while they wait for life to get back to normal.

Casinos are starting to reopen slowly now, so it will be interesting to see in these states if online gambling slows down any. For now though, we can expect the big numbers to continue to come in as players choose to stay home and gamble where they are free from the potential to catch the coronavirus.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.