Coronavirus has dominated the news all over the world for several weeks now and many are wondering what the economic impact would be. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen the crush of the market, with major losses throughout the stock markets. The gambling industry is not likely to remain unscathed, and many are wondering at this point what the implications would be. Whole countries are going into lockdown, people are either working from home or just simply trapped inside. So, what does this all mean for the gambling industry?
Social Distancing forcing people to gamble from home
In order to stem the spread of the virus, governments are introducing social distancing, forcing companies, factories, restaurants and entertainment establishments to close, stranding hundreds of thousands of people at home. If we look at Macau, the Las Vegas of Asia, this means hundreds of casinos closed, with customers successfully banned from joining in any gambling activities.
Many land-based operators have tried to take to the internet with the launch of online gambling platforms in a bid to restart their business and at the same time maintain their clientele. However, the lack of regulation for online casinos poses more than a few challenges, pushing players towards illegal online gambling.
Given the current circumstances, governments might want to rethink their policies and finally regulate online gambling in this part of the world, which seems to become more and more possible as events unfold.
Cancelled sports events
Sports betting enthusiasts might be in for some difficult times. Many are those counties currently cancelling sports events in a quest to stop the spread of the virus that seems intent to intrude on every aspect of human life. With this volume of cancelled events, it means sports betting might become obsolete for a short while before this storm blows over. With many associations cancelling games of all kinds to protect both the public and the players, the industry might restart slowly in the second half of the year, once the virus spread has hopefully been controlled.
Crushing markets drag gaming companies’ shares down
In a world that has suddenly gone up in flames, markets have not escaped the brunt of the crisis and shares for all sectors have crushed. Casino operators and game developers’ shares have gone down significantly over the last few weeks and as more countries are being affected and normal life interrupted, markets are expected to reach new lows. The gaming industry has not gone unscathed with many companies experiencing significant loses on the markets including PlayTech, whose shares have spiralled down since the outbreak.
People on lockdown will gamble more
Perhaps the only upside to the situation is that with thousands placed on lockdown all over the world, many people now have more time to gamble online and might do so to stave off boredom. Because let us face it, there is a limit to how much TV you can watch in a day, and many are those who might be looking for an alternative source of entertainment. There are many great online casinos and according to casinohawks.com, most of them are open for UK players.
The coronavirus outbreak is a major crisis of unprecedented proportions. Every aspect of human life is under threat. Since the gaming industry is part of the world, under current circumstances it is very hard not to be affected. There might be, however, a positive outcome, but since things are still developing it is very hard to determine if that will eventually be the case. In the meantime, the world’s population is bracing for the biggest disruption in the history of humankind.