Covid-19 has shaken the world with its devastating effects that have not only crippled the economy but also led to the death of thousands of people. The effects have also been felt on the gambling industry with many casino operators counting losses. It has also influenced how players gamble and which games they prefer to play. Surprisingly, some sectors in the gambling industry continue to do well and have shown resilience despite the dire times. This article outlines some of the deep impact the Covid-19 virus has left on the gambling industry.
Effects on Land-based Casinos
Land-based casinos have suffered the greatest loss as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ban on travel has firstly affected the performance of the casino premises and the casino resorts which have had to close as a result of the pandemic. Many tourists who would have played at the casino resorts have not had the chance to travel, leading to losses in the hotel industry. The lockdown and ban on travel has also made it impossible for the casino operators to meet their overheads and other necessary operating costs.
With the closing of the resorts, few players have been able to gamble as comfortably as they would like to, especially for players who are used to exclusive gaming and luxuries in some resorts. This is because in addition to gambling large physical casinos offer other amenities, dining and wining, spa treatments and luxury comforts.
Land-based casinos have therefore had to downscale their operations and discover new ways of meeting their operating costs. Lotteries and betting shops have also had to close or scale down their operations as people grapple with the Corona crisis. This has led to loss of livelihoods of the lottery card sellers, sports events organizers and most of the staff that directly offer services to land-based gamblers. The Covid19 impact will therefore not only affect the land-based casino institutions, but individuals such as the business owners and the entire population at large.
Effects on the Sports-betting Industry
The Sportsbetting industry has suffered greatly from the covid-19 pandemic. The reality is that it may take a long time to recover and get back to their normal operations and a profitable financial position. Some of the negative Covid19 impact in the sportsbetting industry include:
Less entertainment in live sports events
Many sports events globally such as the UEFA Euro 2020 have been canceled and rescheduled to new dates. There is still uncertainty on the full resumption of the sports events and this remains to be confirmed as the pandemic rages on. Moreover, the ones which have been resumed have sometimes been held without any spectators, which has taken away the excitement of live streaming of the events. This has led many sports bettors to seek other forms of gambling that are entertaining.
Loss of revenues and livelihoods
It is estimated that the sportsbetting industry has lost billions of dollars due to the Covid19 pandemic. This has been a loss to the career sportsmen and women, their support staff, game organizers and bookmakers. There has also been a loss of revenue for specific countries in taxes and the currency exchange where the sports events would have been held.
The media institutions and advertisers that are also at the frontline of facilitating the live sports have also suffered loss of incomes for their staff from the effects of Covid-19. Some famous sports players have also been taken ill with the virus and this has forced them to drop out of some sports events.
Positive effects on the Sportsbetting industry
All has not been gloom at the Sportsbetting industry and some sectors in the sports gaming industry have witnessed some benefits. Online bookmakers that host sportsbetting services in addition to online casino and poker games have been able to offer their players an alternative entertainment. Consequently, their online casino and poker games section has had more players turning to online casino games in addition to the available sports bets.
More focus on the online virtual sports
Sportsbetting fans who found a vacuum in the live streaming and in-play Sportsbetting have found new forms of enjoyment in the virtual sports world. This has led to the development of more virtual sports games such as virtual soccer, virtual basketball and other games. Bettors have also taken an interest in the esports tournaments to keep occupied at the online sportsbooks.
Effects on the Online Casino Industry
Online casinos have suffered both negative and positive effects from the Covid-19 pandemic. Our in-depth analysis on the effects of the deadly virus on the igaming industry uncovers some surprisingly positive gains from the pandemic.
There have been instances of lockdown in various countries where their citizens have been restricted from interacting socially on many events. This has led to travel restrictions and most people have been barred from congregating in social places such as land-based casinos and casino resorts. The result of this lockdown has led to:
Higher enrollment of players in online casinos
With most casino premises been shut down, players have turned to online gambling and playing conveniently from their homes. Consequently, there have been high enrolment of players at best online real money casinos
from the player’s locality and at offshore online gaming sites.
Players have also been able to access a larger number of casino games that are hosted at online casinos and which have not been available at land-based casinos. Players have also learnt and played more live casino games
just to keep up with the social gaming aspects of a casino environment.
Diversification and emergence of more online casinos
With players turning to online casino gambling, many casinos that did not previously have online gaming services have had to reconsider and start offering the services. There have also been launching of new online casinos throughout the entire year that the virus has been in circulation.
Development of more mobile gaming apps
Online casino gaming has also in-turn gradually shifted to mobile gaming where players can conveniently play on their mobile devices. As a result, some casinos have come up with mobile gaming apps which are fully functional and which offer players the same gaming experience like they would get on their personal computers.
More first time players have discovered online casinos
People have also been less occupied during the lockdown period and this has seen more new players join online casino gambling. The high enrollment of players in online gambling sites has also arisen as a result of the physical casino premises been out of bounds for most conventional players who prefer land-based casino gambling.Introduction of new games and varieties in the gambling industry
It is not surprising that igaming software developers have been active during the Covid19 2020 world crisis. Players can confirm that there are new games that have hit the igaming market within the year that the pandemic has been witnessed.
Negative Effects of the covid-19 on Online Casinos
In relation to the bad effects on the land-based casinos, online casinos are fairing better in coping with the ravaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is however not without having to endure some challenges that would otherwise not be present if the pandemic had not happened. Online casinos have therefore had to cope with:
Less free funds to spend on online casinos
It is common knowledge that many people have lost jobs and incomes during the covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, the virus has affected punters, family and close associates of casino players. As a result, less people have much money to spend on gambling or to engage in some luxury living. Consequently, players spend less on gambling and the responsible gamblers
have had to budget appropriately due to the uncertain future.
Increase in problem gambling tendencies
The effects of the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic on compulsive gamblers have been devastating. Some gamblers have had more time on their hands and this has led them to turn to online casino gambling. Making losses when carrying out gambling activities in 2020 has resulted in most players been depressed and having to deal with problem gambling and its consequences. According to the health journal on the complications resulting from the pandemic’s world crisis 2020 on gambling, the effects, such as debts may take many years to be reversed or to be contained.
Depression has also kicked in among some of the gaming operators and their staff. The results are health complications which will continue to be felt by the staff and their families unless a coping mechanism has been designed to counter the pandemic’s devastating effects.
Covid19 and Gambling-What does the Future Look Like?
It is evident that the covid19 world 2020 crisis is not only going to leave short term effects on the gambling industry. Rather, sports bettors and online casino players as well as the gaming operators may continue to experience lifetime changing effects from the pandemic. With an uncertain future in the gambling industry, some mitigation measures must be put in place to cushion the industry. Some of the measures include:
Encouraging players and bettors to budget or gamble responsibly through public education on the dangers of excessive gambling.
Designing more online casino friendly sports and games
Re-evaluating the licensing and regulation of online gambling in regions that restrict online gambling
Designing more virtual sports and encouraging players to play Virtual sports and fantasy games