The COVID-19 crisis largely hits the global gambling industry. Gambling shares on the global stock market are also plummeting ever since the outbreak of the pandemic. Top gambling companies like GVC Holdings, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, and The Stars Group all have issued statements regarding the possibility of temporary shutdown because of the global pandemic. All these gambling companies rely on sports betting for their revenues, and not to mention these companies were hit by the COVID pandemic.
Flutter’s shares dipped by 12% while TSG reported a 17.5% dip in their shares, which resulted in a massive loss of approximately 100 million to 110 million pounds this year. GVC also reported having lost a massive revenue of 130 to 150 million pounds this year. The Dutch gambling market also faces hiccups as the Netherlands might delay the gambling market launch again with new regulations. And these new rules might also restrict bonuses. However, the casino industry’s online wing survived the blow that has sustained the online gambling industry to a certain extent. Hence, the Dutch online casinos that accept iDeal, e.g., Spinia, King Billy Casino, CookieCasino, etc. received many customers.
Around 74.6% of the total revenues from gambling come from land casinos. The closure of casinos and entertainment centers across the world due to the COVID issues affected the companies’ profitability and revenues. As per analysts, the global casino market will experience a steep decline by the end of 2020. Yet, despite this pandemic, the Asian gambling industry did not suffer the blow as much as the West, and here are the reasons why:
- Asian countries like Taiwan and Hong Kong reacted very and started isolating COVID patients, keeping the situations well under control. So, the powerful countries in the West did not pay much concern to government warnings. They continued frolicking in the streets at the pubs and the casinos until the situations went out of control resulting in huge casualties.
- Asian land mortar casino enthusiasts transformed into online casino players. Thus, despite the decline in the revenue percentage in the land casinos, they were balanced by the customers’ raging increase in the online casinos. But, even after getting news updates of the COVID pandemic, casino goers in the West continued visiting casinos, thereby increasing the casualties, which prompted the government to close down all the land casinos. And by the time players registered for online casinos, all online casinos were full, thereby posing a huge blow to the operators who lost a large number of customers.
Apart from these, researchers have not ruled out the possibilities of other factors like genetics, immunity responses that contributed to the less drastic impacts on the Asians than Western countries’ inhabitants.
Despite this pandemic, the Asian gambling industry is gradually returning to its original momentum, with the world’s casino capital – Macau coming to its normalcy. Macau, one of the world’s largest casino hubs, which at times record more revenue than the US casino hub in Las Vegas, reported that the decline in their revenue was only 3/4th, which was quite less than the decline in revenues in other nations.
Macau has also already stepped onto the road to recovery after it turned into a ghost town post the continuous lockdowns. Macau authorities have confirmed that they are ready to distribute tourist visas very soon with all the required protections to contain the deadly virus. Macau’s casino operators in Asia’s largest gambling hub reported that they had been losing $15m (£11.5m) daily revenue that made the Macau authorities lift the ban on tourists travel to Macau.
Macau ready to make a comeback with its original gambling aura
Macau authorities have predicted that by 2021, their revenues from gambling will again start spiking. Both individual and group travel visas have already started to be distributed, but it is a slow process, keeping in mind the quarantine rules to contain the virus.
The gross gaming revenues (GGR) in the Macau casinos rose by a brilliant 228.8%, with the MOP rising from 2.21 billion as in September to MOP 7.27 billion, which is approximately US$910.9 million in October as per the announcement made by the DICJ or the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Therefore, it is high time that COVID should be taken seriously to keep contamination under control and to save thousands of lives.