How Covid-19 changed the casino industry?
Little did we know that 2020 would be the year during which the global population would face a pandemic that would affect nearly every aspect of life. At this point, health problems caused by Covid-19 are at the core of the snowball that keeps rolling downhill and will likely cause more damage to society as we know it. The global economy is already suffering and we are sitting here wondering how Covid-19 has changed the casino industry and what lies ahead.
The gambling industry has seen a divergence in the effects of the crisis, similar to various other business sectors. Certain facets are put on hold due to the unfavourable circumstances, whereas others are positively affected due to higher demand for their services.
Land-based gambling uncertain about coming back from the Covid-19 crisis
When the virus started spreading, land-based gambling operators were prompted to close their doors to help prevent the expanse of the epidemic. Gaming facilities from Las Vegas to Macau saw empty casino floors for months. Some venues attracted around hundreds of thousands of visitors per day pre-Covid-19. And the issue isn’t just in the closed gambling facilities. In Las Vegas, two-thirds of operator revenues usually come from non-gaming attractions, namely restaurants, nightclubs, concert events, spa resorts and hotels, which are all still handicapped.
After lockdown, specific casino establishments are considering their options when it comes to healing and returning to a regular financial course. With the pandemic still being active, these venues are facing tough chances due to cross-border travel restrictions, limited transportation options and quarantine requirements for customers/travellers. Constant sanitizing and social distancing protocols are looking to become part of the “new normality”, which still does not guarantee casino patrons lining up at the door.
Online casinos – Increase in demand
Internet-powered gambling services stand out as an alternative means of entertainment during the crisis. While adhering to Covid-19 precautions, such as social distancing and limited movement, people are turning to online options which resulted in growth in online gambling. It seems that the online gambling sector will make it through the pandemic with less financial damage than other businesses, if any. According to the source from Onlinegambling24.com a significant rise has been noted in e-sports betting (with ongoing suspension of the vast majority of professional sports events), online poker and online lottery ticket purchases.
The predictions for the internet gambling world are not nearly as gloomy as they are for the land-based sector. While some predict the decline of small physical gambling locations caused by social distancing guidelines, they also point out that during lockdown older groups or citizens have turned to learning digital skills and that there is a possibility of online gambling sticking among the older generation post-crisis. It remains to be seen if online operators will capitalise on this unforeseen opportunity.
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