The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in China, has infected millions of people globally till now. Since there is no vaccine to prevent the disease, people are following social distancing and various other personal hygiene measures to avoid being exposed to the virus.
The coronavirus pandemic has also disrupted the global economy on a grand scale, and the casino industry is no exception. Some facets of the gambling industry, such as online gambling sites have seen an increase in demand, while others like sportsbooks have faltered for obvious reasons.
Keep reading to know more about the impact of COVID-19 on the gambling sector.
Sports betting took a hit
The coronavirus crisis has dealt a blow to the sports betting industry which was poised to take off in the coming years. In order to limit the spread of the virus, all the major sports events across the globe have been cancelled. Other events like the MLB, NHL and NBA have been put on hold. Sport betting companies that were spending hefty amounts on marketing and other things are now cutting costs to survive in the market.
It’s a difficult time for physical sportsbooks, as they own and operate massive retail outlets that have been closed. Online sports betting sites are now relying on fantasy sports to keep their businesses afloat. Also, sports leagues and associations are turning towards game simulations and esports that have the potential to offer more betting opportunities.
Online gambling is stable
It seems that the coronavirus crisis has had a negligible effect on the online casinos that offer games like Roulette, Online Scratch cards, Poker, and many more. In fact, there has been a small increase in the number of online casino players since the virus started spreading.
According to a recent report by research firm Optimove, there has been an increase of 43% in the number of daily Poker players. This rise is significant enough to make Poker a potential saviour for many online casinos. All the companies with Poker products that were researched by Optimove experienced an increase, and some of them even doubled the number of Poker players recently.
Also, there has been a massive increase of 255% in first-time Poker players during the period, compared to an average day before the lockdown.
What are the long-term implications of the coronavirus for the casino industry?
Bracing for a recession – The global economy is already on the verge of recession, and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. Luckily, numerous studies have shown that the casino industry is resilient during periods of recession.
The rise of e-sports betting – Esports was already the fastest growing sport on the planet, and the coronavirus pandemic has given it another boost. Esports are perfect for socially distanced competitions and they will surely bring a whole new demographic into the world of online sports betting.
The decline of small physical locations – As social distancing measures will continue in the coming years; consumers will probably stay away from physical venues. Even when they start offering their services, small businesses will struggle to thrive in the market.