Jade Entertainment and Gaming CEO Joe Pisano remains confident that the casino industry in Asia is headed for a strong post COVID-19 recovery heading into 2021. Pisano took some time out to talk with our very own Becky Liggero Fontana on what he sees next for brick and mortar gaming in the east.
The Jade Entertainment boss pointed out that we are already seeing signs of recovery in the industry amongst land-based casinos. “Vietnam has already opened up, with Cambodia and the Philippines are also looking to open up as well,” he said.
The problem won’t be getting people to the properties, it will be regulating how many people are allowed through the front door, under new social distancing guidelines for land-based casinos. “Until there’s a vaccine, temperature checks and cleaning of machines will be the new norm,” Pisano added.
The new situation will force land-based casinos to get creative with how they run their business, according to Pisano. The industry will need at least three years to recover from the pandemic. “If we look at the 2008 Financial Crisis, that took three years to recover and that’s taking into consideration if a vaccine is discovered in the next year or two.”
Land-based casinos could be forced to seek out some synergy with online gambling to aide in the recovery. “We need to bring internet gaming into land-based,” he said. “Internet gaming has a lot of valuable technology that’s been developed over the years and a lot of the technology used in internet gaming is far superior to what we are using in land-based today.”
“We need to see a convergence of the two and we need to see it rapidly. For land-based it’s a matter of continuity where if we do have a second wave it, the business continues and we don’t completely shut down. If you allow members to play no matter where they are then it can only be good for the industry,” Pisano added.
As Macau is seeing, casinos need to bring back VIPs to really bring back their revenues, “The actual play itself is no problem because most of the VIPs will play on a table by themselves anyway. It’s a matter of getting people from Point A to Point B. Getting them to the property will be the problem.”
In the full interview, Pisano talks about some of the innovations that we’ll expect to see from casinos to deal with social distancing regulations for players in the post-pandemic world. Be sure to subscribe to CalvinAyre.com YouTube channel to see every interview we make as it goes up.