The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the different cogs of the gambling industry in unique ways. On the one hand, UK online casinos have not been massively affected by the outbreak, some live dealer games may have been taken off the online casino menu, but for the most part, it has been business as usual. Many online casinos may have even attracted more members considering it has been one of the only forms of accessible gambling during the lockdown. Slot games have seen a surge in popularity and at PartyCasino we even had a lucky jackpot winner.
On the other hand, sports betting has taken asignificant knock due to the lack of sporting action. Most sports gamblers havehad to turn to the Belarus Premier League, a virtual Grand National race oreven betting on eSports. But what about bricks-and-mortar casinos? How has thecasino industry been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, and how will thischange casinos over the following months?
Entertainment venues like casinos wereinstructed to close in the UK and abroad, including Las Vegas. This has meantthat no casinos in most locations are open for business right now. This willhave a devastating effect on casinos and their revenue, while still having topay contracted staff or face laying casino workers off. The American GamingAssociation predict that each day the lockdown is in place, the Nevada tourismindustry loses almost $5 billion.
UK casinos are a little more protected than insome other nations because they can tap into government support. Casinos canget financial help to help pay salaries up to a capped 80% their monthly wage,as long as that salary is £2,500 or below.
The bottom line is that the house edge is nolonger around to help the casino make a profit, and casinos are losing moneyeach day they remain closed. The slightly better news is that some of the moreprominent and more famous casinos have enough money to see them through thisunstable period.
The further worries are that gamblers who cameto casinos to enjoy some of their disposable income may disappear in theaftermath of a lockdown. The economy will shrink, and people may start to spendless of their money – or have less to spend on entertainment like gambling.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, financialinsecurities among the general population could turn people to gambling for thewrong reasons. Instead of gambling what they can afford to lose, some peoplemay start using casinos more to recoup financial losses and reinstall an income– which is just as concerning for casinos.
The key to success is being able to makecasinos a safe place for gamblers to return to as soon as the lockdown islifted. If there is a chance that a casino is an unsafe place, it could forcegovernments to keep them closed or scare people from visiting. This means:
· Increasingsocial distancing within casinos
· Employingmore cleaners to work more often
· Givingdealers, other casino workers and players masks to wear
· Followinggovernment advice
· Banningplayers with suspected virus symptoms until they have recovered
PartyCasino is operated by LC International Limited who are licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission under account number 54743.