The impact of the pandemic has been felt around the world and across virtually every industry imaginable. Some industries have coped admirably whilst others have suffered a lot worse.
This couldn’t be a more apt description of how the pandemic has affected the casino industry. Depending on which part of the industry you are involved with, you will likely have very different outlooks on the past 18 months.
The following article will delve a little deeper into the impact that Coronavirus has had on the industry both positively and negatively.
The Pandemic’s Effect on Online Casinos
We’ll start with the side of the casino industry that, for lack of a better word, benefitted from the pandemic. The online casino industry was booming during the pandemic for several reasons and saw large growth during this time.
Firstly, with some many people forced to stay at home during lockdowns, many of which were furloughed, there was a lot of free time on people’s hands. As such, they turned to entertainment in the house like streaming services, video calls, and of course, online gambling.
Needless to say, online casinos benefitted from the millions of people finding themselves at a loose end by gaining many new registrations. A lot of these people did not have the time or had better things to do prior to the pandemic but turned to online casinos in lieu of other options.
Online casino gaming is convenient, exciting, and potentially rewarding, all aspects which appealed to new players who were bored and stuck at home. Given the wide range of games available to them, many of these players stuck around during lockdown and beyond.
On top of this, online casinos have the benefit of being able to offer enticing sign-up bonuses and promotions for new players. These can include cashback bonuses and free spins for certain games which are sure to hook some new players. Loyalty schemes are another great way to get people involved in online casino games, especially when they have a lot of free time on their hands.
Another reason online casinos did so well during this period was the brief lack of sport. This removed yet another avenue of entertainment as well as one of the most popular types of gambling. Sportsbooks were forced to turn to obscure sporting events and eSports which many bettors weren’t interested in backing. As such, a lot of regular sports bettors seeked out new gambling opportunities in the form of online casinos.
Sports eventually returned but this didn’t mean that everyone who had made the switch was going to abandon online casino gaming. Just like the people who turned to online casinos through boredom and enjoyed it, some sports bettors were now online casino players thanks to the circumstances of the pandemic.
The Pandemic’s Effect on Brick and Mortar Casinos
Unsurprisingly, brick-and-mortar casinos did not fare so well. Restrictions on travel and the forced closure of many establishments was an impossible barrier to overcome at the time. Brick and mortar casinos became a health risk and so lost customers to online casinos.
Weeks and months without profit and strict rules when eventually open was very bad news for brick and mortar casinos. The uncertainty and lack of alternative ways to make money spelled the end for some establishments who could not afford to continue paying rent on a business not making any profit for the foreseeable future.
Larger establishments have hope in the not-so-distant future thanks to the beginning of the end of the pandemic being insight. These establishments may have suffered the loss of many customers but in all likelihood, they will be back. These casinos offer something that online casinos cannot and for that, they will always remain popular.
Nevertheless, there is the real risk that some previous casino growers have turned to online casinos and preferred their experience, meaning that they will lose these players for good. Thankfully for casino owners, this is unlikely to be too common thanks to the very different experience you will have at a brick-and-mortar casino.
The Future of the Casino Industry
It’s hard to predict the future but the amount of new people who have been exposed to casino games in one form or another and enjoyed them during the pandemic is surely a good thing for the industry. Whether online or in-person, the industry has reached a lot of new players who may continue to play beyond the pandemic in some capacity.
Interesting Related Article: “Online casinos – will the appeal endure in a post-COVID world?“