Colorado Casinos Excited About the Future as Table Games Return on May 1
The gambling industry took a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tides are about to turn as sportsbooks in Colorado gear up for a rebound this year due to immense support from punters.
While sports betting has already crossed the $1 billion-mark, table games are next in line to add to the festive cheer. “This is a very exciting time for Colorado indeed. Sportsbooks are being added along while table games are slated to resume operations soon. We have a lot of plans in the pipelines for the near future”, said Tim Morrissey, the General Manager at Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk.
Colorado has witnessed a sharp decline in tax revenue from the three gaming communities in the mountains. While Black Hawk and Central City barely brought 50% of tax revenue compared to previous years. Regulating online sports betting in may 2020 marginally improved the state’s fortunes.
“Legalizing sports betting brought in quite a bit of revenue and we appreciate all the help that we can get. Although it wouldn’t be the end of the world without the extra tax dollars, we’re excited to have it. There is massive scope for improvement here too”, Morrissey added. “The overall developments have positively impacted our business. Times have been trying with the pandemic raging all around. Any increment is good news at the moment”.
Partnerships to Cut the Slack
A number of casinos have partnered with sportsbooks in Colorado through a revenue-sharing policy. Casinos in the state remained shut for a major portion of 2020, between March and June. However, table games were shut for a far longer duration as COVID-19 cases began surging again in November.
“We had to be very versatile and adaptive to tackle the hurdles”, Morrissey said. Residents of Gilpin County are hopeful that the worst is behind them as a majority of the population there work in the gambling industry. Quite a high number has faced layoffs and furloughs in the past few months.
The Road Ahead for Colorado’s Casinos
The County was moved to blue on Colorado’s COVID-19 Dial last Saturday, which means that the capacity can go up to 175 people in most public areas. While this is projected to bring back jobs, the silver lining is the elimination of limits and restarting table games, which is due in May.
“Completely lifting the ban on table games will help us enhance the gaming experience and target a different group of punters. We have a lot to offer those patrons and as the confidence returns, they’ll want to visit the hills and have a good time like before”, Morrissey added.
A few hundred in Gilpin County have already taken the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine. The ballroom of one of the casinos is being used to vaccinate the community. “I believe as the vaccine rolls out in the next few weeks, people’s confidence will return. We will see more guests showing up in-person every day. The numbers will only get stronger as more people get vaccinated”, Morrissey explained.