Iowa Revenue Drops By About 20 Percent Due To Pandemic

iowa coronavirus pandemic
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Businesses around the globe suffered the same fate as the novel coronavirus continued dragging down treasuries to near depleted levels. Globally, economic activities have halted since March to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus in every territory.

Casinos are among the businesses that saw huge losses during the pandemic. The gambling institutions temporarily shut down because the nature of the business requires gathering a large group of people, which increases the possibility of virus transmission. The casinos remained closed for nearly four months because of the threat of the deadly disease.

Governments started loosening restrictions to allow businesses to operate after seeing the need for economic activities, preventing the economy’s total breakdown. The gambling facilities gradually opened operations, hoping to recover losses during the pandemic.

Revenue fell 20 percent in the previous fiscal year

The novel coronavirus shut down casinos in Iowa for 11 weeks, causing a decline in gaming revenue during the fiscal year, which ended June 30 by 20 percent. The Racing and Gaming Commission revealed that the state’s 19 casinos’ preliminary estimates showed a decline in gross revenue from $1.457 billion to $1.16 billion in the last fiscal year. It is also far from the $1.47 billion figure in fiscal 2012.

The report indicated that the revenue for fiscal 2020 declined massively when the casinos shut down operations for nearly three months because of the novel coronavirus. The income in the previous fiscal year was the lowest since 2006.

Admissions in the casinos during the fiscal year 2020 recorded 15,530,0221 guests, turned out lowest recorded since fiscal 1996. Admissions in casinos in the state reached nearly 23 million in the previous fiscal years.

Es Ehrecke, Iowa Gaming Association spokesman, said nobody is prepared for the pandemic.

Casinos hope to recover losses after reopening

Many casinos across the country started resuming operations as early as late-May. Tribal casinos were the first to continue businesses, protected by tribal nation’s autonomy. Casinos in Las Vegas and other states welcomed back gamblers in June. Casinos in the country resumed operations adapting health and sanitation protocols mandated by the state.

Casinos in Iowa resumed business after Governor Kim Reynolds lifted the lockdown order on June 1. Some companies, including the 19 casinos, rushed back to reopening upon the order’s effectivity.

The state allowed the reopening after assurance from the casinos to impose strict hygiene and safety protocols. The casinos followed the state’s capacity restrictions, which enables the practice of social distancing in the casino floors. Operators required guests and employees to wear protective masks inside the casino floors. Temperature checking was done before entry to the gambling venues.

Ehrecke said all the casinos are working hard on reaching the normal phase, but they are still far from their pre-coronavirus levels.

Brian Ohorilko, the state gaming commission’s administrator, revealed that the revenue in June fell 5.5 percent compared to the earnings in the same month last year.

Restrictions in an operational capacity, including limitations in the number of players in table games and slot machines, contributed to the decline.

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