The Covid-19 global pandemic has a devastating impact on various industries, including the casino industry. Across the globe, the casino industry is struggling to get back on track as a series of lockdowns and government restrictions are making it difficult for casinos to reopen. The same is true for Canada, where casinos, despite their multiple attempts, fail to open up amidst rising coronavirus cases. Yes, we have witnessed the glimmer of hope in terms of the rising popularity of online casinos (check here for various options). Still, then there are concerns related to ethics and safety of the virtual platforms, which are dragging the overall revenue for casinos.
The primary reason behind the physical casinos’ revenue decline is their inability to open again after the Covid-19 restrictions. Unlike the initial hope that casinos could restart their functioning after the first wave of Covid-19 subsided, the intermittent and sporadic rise in the cases has forced them to remain shut.
Casino owners are also quite worried about the infection itself and fear that any alacrity in opening the casinos could further spread the disease. The stringent restrictions by the government and regulatory bodies are also responsible for the continuation of casinos being closed for more than six months now.
As far as online casinos in Canada are concerned, the industry was quite optimistic about their growth initially; however, the concerns expressed by the various ethics committees about the nature of the virtual platforms and their addiction-inducing effect have raised serious questions about the long-term sustainability of the online gambling industry. Another shortcoming associated with the virtual platforms is their low-earning potential, as online bets are quite affordable compared to their physical counterparts. Gamblers who choose to play online use to bet less money on average than the average spending in physical casinos.
Like other non-essential businesses, the Canadian casino industry is also facing a complete lockdown for many months now. Because of casinos’ potential to become a hot spot for spreading infection, most of the casinos have taken a precautionary approach while deciding to keep their operations shut for an indefinite period.
Some casinos had initially planned to reopen their business while employing extraordinary precautionary measures, although, in the wake of costly financial implications, these plans are now shelved. While keeping in mind the safety and security of both customers and employees, running the operation with a limited number of players inside the house is quite a difficult proposition to implement for longer durations.
To make the matter worse, there is a decline in the sports betting category as most of the major tournaments scheduled for this year have already been canceled or postponed to next year. The Canadian government’s health and safety department is tasked with reviewing the reopening plans of casinos, which is also causing a delay to the reopening bid. Many famous casinos chain in the country, including the likes of Great Canadian, have deferred the plan to reopen their properties partly owing to financial constraints of operating with limited numbers.
There is no clarity on the aspect of how and when the Canadian casino industry will again start their operations in a full-fledged manner. There is positive news in terms of the online casino gaining in popularity, but then all stakeholders need to come together to make virtual platforms safe, secure, and financially viable in the long run. This will only happen if there are strict rules and regulations in place that will help regulate the online casino industry to safeguard the interest of all stakeholders involved in the business.