The past year brought many changes and defined a “new normal” after another year of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic still shapes our lives, but vaccines and readily available testing have made it possible to live with the virus. These changes in conditions affect everyone both personally and professionally. The gaming industry also experienced many changes – many of them positive – in 2021, resulting in record-breaking annual revenue. As operators strategize for 2022, look at the three trends that helped shape a unique and prosperous year.
The Dominance of Sports Betting
Sports betting erupted in popularity and legitimacy in 2021. As more states across the U.S. legalized gambling, sports betting became a highly lucrative mainstay of gaming institutions nationwide. Sports betting became so widespread that many professional sports teams and leagues officially partnered with the most well-known sportsbooks. The growth of sports betting also raised concerns about responsible gaming, especially since betting has always been challenging. The American Gaming Association (AGA) developed the Have A Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly.™ initiative, which provides helpful guidelines for patrons to bet safely and responsibly.
While operators have always strived to provide patrons with a convenient funding experience, the coronavirus pandemic drove payments in a radical direction. Payments in a post-pandemic world must prioritize safety for patrons and operators. Cash and even cards can transfer the virus, so contactless payments are the safest transactions for all parties. Pavilion Payments’ VIP Mobility™, the industry’s first mobile solution enabling true cashless gaming from funding through cash-out, allows patrons to transact safely from their mobile devices.
Contactless payments have become a safer alternative to more traditional gaming, but lifting many pandemic restrictions showed that patrons still love the casino experience. The AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker reported a record-breaking quarter in Q3 2021. With rising COVID-19 cases and the growing popularity of online gaming, it may seem like brick-and-mortar gaming is a thing of the past. However, the data shows that brick-and-mortar gaming remains a viable enterprise, and gaming industry professionals should not abandon casinos entirely. Pavilion Payments’ VIP Financial Center is an all-in-one, self-service solution that allows patrons to avoid long lines at the cage and complete their transactions quickly and easily.