A report from the U.S. Travel Association estimated that the travel industry lost $1.1 trillion in 2020 due to COVID-19. Restrictions were in place across the country, including Las Vegas, which relies upon millions of visitors a year to fill up the casinos and hotels. Yes, there was the option for people to gamble online and there are some excellent online casinos, as highlighted by www.gamblerspro.com.
However, for some people, nothing beats the real deal and the closure of land based casinos and hotels in Las Vegas came as a huge blow. Not only were people being denied the opportunity to travel and visit Las Vegas but the businesses were missing out on huge sums of money by having their doors closed. At the time of writing, we are in late August 2021 but have things started to return to normal in Las Vegas post-pandemic?
Speaking in March, Clyde Barrow, a gaming industry expert, and professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, said, “As more and more people are vaccinated, more and more people are going to feel comfortable traveling and feel comfortable in crowds.”
Las Vegas started to resemble something of its normal self towards the end of March 2021 as visitors returned to the city. Fans were returning to Golden Knights games and close to 40 different shows were performing again. However, restrictions were still in place meaning restaurants and casino floors were only allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity but things have developed further since March and into August 2021, the picture is looking even better for Las Vegas.
Once glance at the visitor numbers in April 2020 show the figure to be 106,900 compared to 3.5 million in the same month in 2019. Into April 2021 and the number was back to something resembling normality as just over 2.5 million people visited Las Vegas. Moving to July 2021 and this number increased further and sat at just under 3 million visitors, which is a strong sign Las Vegas is returning to normal.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board said casinos on the Las Vegas strip recorded their highest gambling takings since 2006 between the months of April and June 2021. That is without the return of international visitors and highlights the demand for Las Vegas from domestic visitors alone. In terms of social distancing, the slot machines are the best form of gambling in Las Vegas as it easier to keep away from other people. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see the money going into slot machines at an all-time high.
Perhaps the popularity of visiting Las Vegas has risen due to the fact people have been forced to stay at home for so long. Americans who were only considering visiting Las Vegas prior to the pandemic have since taken the decision to do it because the virus has given them more urgency to do the things they have always dreamed rather than waiting for tomorrow.
The spread of the Delta variant is a concern going forward but right now, Las Vegas appears to be returning to something close to normal.