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Coronavirus Impact on the Online Gambling Industry

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2021-06-19

Eddy Cheung

When the first Covid-19 case was announced in December 2019, nobody expected it to bring the world to a standstill. Few months down the line, industries are registering losses everywhere, with some closing shop altogether.

Coronavirus Impact on the Online Gambling Industry

That's especially true for the sports betting industry, which has suffered from the suspension of professional sporting events. So, as countries continue to grapple with the ripple effects of Covid-19, it's time to take stock and see how the online casino and gambling industry, in general, has been affected.

Coronavirus and Sports Betting

As mentioned earlier, the sports betting industry is one of the most severely affected by Covid-19. As a result, authorities worldwide had to place a blanket ban on all physical sporting activities to maintain social distancing and other precautions.

For example, major soccer leagues like EPL, Serie A, and La Liga were suspended for several months due to the pandemic. In the US, NBA was suspended for up to a month and business hasn't been usual since then.

Overall, the closure of several sporting events dealt a massive blow to the sports betting industry. Fortunately, players and fans are slowly returning to the pitch, with the sector expected to pick up soon.

Physical Gambling Venues Badly Hit

From mingling bettors and public washrooms to touching slot machines and handling cash, land-based casinos remain Covid-19 hotspots. So, similar to other physical non-essential services, land-based casinos were closed during the lockdown.

A good example is William Hill, which closed its 119 betting shops in the UK following Covid-19 restrictions. Even worse, there are reports that this online casino brand is planning to sell its betting shops in Europe after fears that gamers may not come back in the same numbers.

All in all, the current limitation on the number of punters who can be admitted into a land-based casino is leaving a negative mark. Also, open brick-and-mortar casinos are forced to invest heavily in Covid-19 precautionary measures. But still, the industry will be back on its feet, thanks to its rich tradition.

Online Gambling is Reaping Big

Unable to visit their favorite land-based casinos, players are now changing tact to enjoy their favorite games online. Often, online casinos offer all game varieties ranging from slot machines and scratch cards to blackjack and video poker. In fact, online casinos provide a more expansive game variety than their land-based cousins.

As if the improved game library isn't enough, gambling sites have gone ahead to include new technology, live casino. Here, players can enjoy the thrilling real-life experience of a brick-and-mortar casino right from their smartphones, tablets, and computers. The games are streamed in real-time from land-based studios and managed by professional dealers.

Another benefit is that players using online casinos are now spending less than what they spend on an in-person betting venue. Typically, online casinos allow lower betting limits than land-based casinos. Also, you don't get to spend on drinks, bus fares, gas, tips, and other costs associated with land-based casinos. To conclude, online gambling is here to stay.

The Round Up

For now, it's safe to say that online casinos are having a field day. But the question is, will it last? In general, industries are slowly picking up where they left in 2020. Even land-based casinos are making a comeback as authorities loosen their strict Covid-19 restrictions. And yes, these casinos are not going to give up their market share to online casinos without a fight. But be as it may, the online gambling sites are in it for the long haul.

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AUTHOREddy Cheung

I remember the first time I saw Kai Tak, Hong Kong's gambling city, I thought I was in a fairy tale. All the lights blinking, the music and the monumental buildings, what 9-year-old wouldn’t think they’ve come to a magical place? It was my father who brought me, dragging me along and when inside I was hit by the smell of frying duck. As soon as I hit 21 I returned to Kai Tak, A bit nervous to see if my mind had embellished the memory, but it hadn’t. Kai Tak was still a magical place. I decided I wanted to spend as much time as I could at this place, so I did. For the next coming years I lived and breathed Kai Tak. Now I am married with kids, and they have become a part of my life too. That’s why I started exploring online casinos to create a better work-life balance and I couldn’t be happier!

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