While millions of people are still under lockdown across the world, we’re having a look at the impact that the recent pandemic has had on every aspect of our day to day lives. Like any other form of entertainment out there, casinos are currently closed down and will be for quite some time. Therefore, the gambling industry is suffering along with decreasing economies around the globe. This situation is present across all continents, certain countries being more affected than others. In this article, we’ll discuss the impact that the coronavirus has on casinos and how online gambling has become the new trend.
The Global Situation
Currently, one of the countries that are most affected by the virus, generally speaking, is the USA. According to the American Gaming Association, since the lockdown has started, the gambling industry in the US will lose up to $43.5 billion in the coming months.
The most affected state in the US is, of course, Nevada, given that Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the world. With so much of their economy being based on gambling events and activities, it turns out that Nevada’s unemployment rate could hit 30%.
However, Nevada is not the only place that’s heavily affected by casinos closing down; Over on the other side of the world, the gambling hub of Macau is struggling also. Macau’s gaming revenue was 80% lower this March compared to the year before, according to government sources. Back in February, the revenue fell by 88% when all casino operations were suspended for two weeks. This special administrative region of China gets more than 80% of tax revenues from its very developed gaming industry, which is responsible for the employment of about three-quarters of all the people who live there.
Even though Las Vegas and Macau might be the first places that you would think about given this topic, the majority of countries are impacted more or less because of brick and mortar casinos not being open. Nevertheless, the negative effects are more obvious in some parts of the world, where gambling is very popular, like Australia, South Korea, the Philippines, and Cambodia.
A country with a relatively large number of recurrent gamblers is Australia. Recently published numbers based on a sample of transactions of 250,000 Aussies, has shown that the online gambling industry was one of the few businesses that truly thrived during the lockdown, alongside services such as food delivery, up 63%, and online retail and subscription services, up 61%.
The Online Takeover
As this is a perfect time for finding solutions, people have started to turn to online casinos, given that they cannot physically step into traditional ones. That being said, more and more casinos are making the shift online. New online casinos are being launched every day, offering different services that are meant to give you an experience that’s as close as possible to the real one. Of course, nothing compares to the feeling of being in an actual casino, but the internet nowadays has its ways of impressing consumers.
These online gambling platforms are working better than ever now, attracting thousands of new visitors every day. These numbers wouldn’t be as high if it wasn’t for the faithful gamblers who took their gambling activities online right when the pandemic started. A bunch of casinos that didn’t have online platforms before, have brought theirs online during these uncertain times. Overall, the interest for poker is peaking, as online poker tournaments are held more often than ever with greater numbers of participants. Some countries are even working on their laws and regulations in order to accommodate these changes in the gambling world. Belarus, for example, has officially legalized online casinos, so they can take advantage of this boom on the market.
Not all countries are on board with this new trend, some of them stating that online gambling can negatively affect people and that they could potentially become addicted. For example, Latvia doesn’t support the movement at all, along with some other countries like Georgia or Armenia, which will also begin to limit these activities. On the other end of the spectrum, we have countries like Italy, Spain, and India, where you’ll find the most favorable conditions for the growth of gambling resources traffic.
As an unprecedented global event, coronavirus has practically affected every area of modern society in one way or another. Most industries and businesses are currently in limbo (or crashing), with severe losses and employee lay-offs. But there still are some businesses out there, especially the ones that rely solely on the online environment, that have managed to thrive; online casinos being one of them. In some respects, their growing popularity makes perfect sense in a world where (at least for now) any distraction from this new reality is a welcomed one.