Corona started as a normal disease in December 2019. People all across the globe did not take it seriously. Italy, currently suffering the most, was initially debating if it were a flu or not. Therefore, they did not make any timely decisions. In a matter of only three months, coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, spread all over the globe. The outbreak is now called a pandemic, the first of our times. COVID-19 has an impact on everything: from normal, everyday lives to the economy of every country. Stock markets all over the world have fallen further from March 8, 2020 to March 13, 2020.
The economic crisis is inevitable during this health crisis. Every industry, every profession, and every country is facing financial problems while battling the virus. The robust economy of the United States is under a recession for the first time in ages. Similar to all other industries, gambling industries are going to be impacted as well. Daryl Curnow, author for the Open Gaming Society, thinks that the online gambling industry will grow during the lockdown period. But he also thinks that normal casinos will suffer the most during this period. Here’s what Curnow thinks about gambling under the light of COVID-19:
Land-based casinos closed down
COVID-19 is now affecting people of 196 countries. This pandemic is more serious than we think because we are not even close to finding a vaccine for it. The knowledge that infected people do not exhibit symptoms until 14 days after exposure is an alarming fact and is the sole reason behind the exponential increase in affected cases. Considering this impact, governments all over the globe have decided not to repeat the mistake made by Italy and take the decision of locking down as soon as possible. Italy is suffering now because the government delayed this decision.
With countries locking down, casinos everywhere in the world are also closing down. Las Vegas, the city of casinos, has closed down for the first time after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. If the tourism and casinos mecca of Vegas is closing down, then casinos in other places are sure to follow suit.
Following is to be expected in the future:
Casinos purely depend on day to day earnings, game sessions, and daily gamblers. With the lockdowns and businesses closing down, land-based casinos are sure to suffer the most. A financial hit is forecasted. People are afraid to invest as no one is certain of how long this is going to last. Therefore, people are trying their best to save every penny for the future. Lesser investments are leading to decreasing business for casinos. In short, no revenue is expected in the future.
Change of trend:
With the closing down of land-based casinos, gamblers are shifting to online casinos. We all know that true gamblers enjoy the feel of going to casinos; the slot machines, the tickets, the coins, and the casino experience are what gamblers live for. But, having no option left, gamblers are moving to alternative options, such as online gambling.
How exactly is online gambling going to bloom?
Gamblers deprived of land-based casinos are going to find online gambling a relief. Other than them, people who have a lot of free time on their hands will also join online gambling. This is the perfect time for online casinos to grow as they will have considerable traffic of players. The key right now is to provide opportunities at the right time. One other important step for casinos would be to keep the gamblers interested.
How will the trend change?
As it is not a hidden fact anymore that we are in this lockdown for a long time, online casinos will be under the limelight for a longer period as well. Gamblers will realize the importance of online gambling. The ease that comes with this would be a huge factor, and gamblers will experience and enjoy the benefits in this long period of online gambling. This is likely to lead to permanently changing the gambling industry as it is the only time in the history of gambling where all types of gamblers will gamble online. Thus, it is expected that gamblers all over the world will start preferring online gambling to land-based gambling. It is expected that this trend will remain even after COVID-19 ends.
What are the benefits contributing to this change?
Online casinos accept payments by cryptocurrencies, which means you do not have to go through the hassle of any third-party application. The entire process is easier for the players; thus, players prefer the ease of this system.
Online gambling gives you the chance to gamble anywhere at any time. Gamblers enjoy this more than anything else. Thus, getting the experience of gambling right from the comfort of your home is a leading factor behind the popularity of online casinos.
Hence, it is safely said that online casinos will observe a new trend in popularity, which would potentially last forever. This popularity is a start towards a change. The change is simply a shift from land-based gambling to online gambling.
After highlighting the positive aspects, Curnow says that the following drawbacks or difficulties are also expected in the future due to COVID-19:
Curnow says that sports betting is going to suffer the most due to a lack of options. Most of the games and sports leagues are postponed till next year or are entirely canceled. Olympics 2020 is postponed till summers 2021, UEFA has delayed EURO 2020 by 12 months, and all leagues this year are postponed till 2021. Therefore, we are left with lesser options for gambling.
Sports betters are going to work hard to find suitable betting options. This aspect cannot be neglected because gambling sites, which only depend on sports betting, will have no business for the lockdown period and even after COVID 19.
The psychological impact of staying indoors without human contact might lead people to make riskier decisions. It is expected that the boredom, current economic conditions, and stress might lead people to choose casinos without verification. Moreover, people might also fall prey to fake casinos and might gamble on wrong choices. Therefore, the sanity of the gamblers is extremely important in these trying times.
With the pandemic, governments are introducing new laws and regulations. In the past few days, we have seen that several services are made free for the sake of the well-being of people. Thus, casino owners should be prepared for this as well. Anything is expected at this time and even for long after COVID-19 ends. Therefore, owners need to be ready, preemptive, and a little flexible in this regard.
In conclusion, Curnow thinks that the industry is going to change no matter what. There is a high chance that this industry will observe huge popularity during this period. But it is still better to be prepared for any adverse situation as anything is possible in such a time.