How has the coronavirus affected the global gambling industry?
The coronavirus has had a serious impact on all countries. Its active distribution began at the end of 2019 in China. The problem quickly took on a planetary scale and captured the whole world.
From the first days of the quarantine in many countries, the coronavirus crippled the service sector, in particular the offline gambling business.
Macau: “first bell”
In Macau, the gambling business suffered its first significant losses. Land-based casinos have been closed for several weeks (starting on February 4, 2020), after the coronavirus was detected in three local residents.
Even before the announcement of the closure of gambling establishments, analysts of the American company calculated that a two-week quarantine in the Macau gambling market will lead to a 50% decrease in the revenue index in the first quarter of the 20th year. Other sources say 75%.
As a result, the Macau gambling market was quarantined for several weeks. This was enough to undermine the performance of financial operators. The coronavirus continues to rage, which means that the situation will not improve any time soon.
Philippine gambling establishments have not been quarantined. However, do not forget about the weakness of this country - offshore gambling operators. A lot of scandalous events are associated with them, as well as the fact that labor resources are being attracted from China. The local authorities have organized coronavirus tests especially for people arriving from the PRC. Everyone was well aware of the results of those who passed the test in the current situation.
Interestingly, in one of the latest reports from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, it was said about an increase in the profitability of the gambling markets in the 20th year. This is strange, because even before the start of the global epidemic, the Filipinos did not see such optimism.
Italy - the hotbed of coronavirus in Europe
Italy became the first country in Europe where COVID-19 showed yourself to the fullest. At one point, the life of the state stopped. People moved around the cities only in two cases: to go to the hospital, or on work issues. All objects of the service sector, including the gambling industry, were quarantined until April 3. Gambling was only supported by the ability to work online.
What's in Eastern Europe?
Eastern Europe is home to the largest number of bettors. During the pandemic, most countries began to close ground betting points and go online. But there were also exceptions. For example, in Georgia, separate casinos and some other gambling facilities operated. But their income from this business, according to the latest data, still fell significantly.
Online gambling segment
On the other hand, online gambling has shown record growths after the introduction of quarantine and self-isolation. Even in large developed countries - the USA, Canada, Sweden, Germany - the highest traffic rates of bookmaker sites, casinos and poker rooms were established. In less developed countries, growth was even more impressive. Some countries have even introduced special weekly deposit limits at such establishments.
The coronavirus has also generated a large surge in new registrations and activations of old player accounts. Already in March 2020, he increased the average deposit in online bookmakers and casinos by at least 3%, and in some places up to 10%. As of March 2021, it remains at the same level or is growing every month. The number of queries in search engines about finding a gambling establishment online is also steadily growing, and in almost any language.
The freeze of almost all major sports in 2020 influenced the development of those areas that were not touched quarantine. First of all, we can note another explosion in the popularity of eSports, both in terms of the games themselves and in terms of bets on it.
The selection of eSports disciplines and events continues to grow steadily in all offices. Now, in addition to CS: GO and Dota 2, on which every operator offered bets even before quarantine, it is already possible to place bets everywhere on LOL, King of glory, Starcraft, Rocket League and a dozen other disciplines.
The volume of bets on table tennis and a number of other small sports has grown significantly. The coronavirus also gave impetus to the development of virtual leagues, SRL sports, sports cyber disciplines (FIFA, NBA2K, NHL) and bets on non-sports events (weather, politics, world situation, celebrities).
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the online gambling market has taken over a large part of this entire industry. Most likely, a decent portion of players who have learned the comfort and safety of online betting will not rush to return to the newly opened land-based gambling establishments.
As a result, online gambling is one of the very few areas that not only did not suffer from COVID-2019, but also managed to significantly strengthen its business position. Moreover, it is the coronavirus and quarantine that have become the main prerequisites for this transformation of the gambling market.