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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic to the Gambling Industry Worldwide


The 2019 coronavirus or COVID-19 is now a problem of over 100 countries and most industries worldwide. This virus has now affected over 700,000 people worldwide with more than 30,000 fatalities. China, Italy, and the United States are now the top 3 countries that are hit hard by this pandemic.

The gambling industry is just one of the global business markets that can be severely affected by this crisis. In the US, the states of Nevada, Maryland, and New Jersey have all ordered to temporarily close the doors of land casinos until further notice.

Other countries have also already ordered the same thing to help contain the virus. The closure of these casinos and sportsbooks can have a great impact on the industry. However, online operators like BetWinner are still offering their services and according to experts, this can be the saving grace of the industry.

Online gambling has always played an important role in the growth of the global gambling industry in the last decade. This started in 1996, when the very first online casino was launched. It did take a while for people to get used to the idea of gambling and transacting with money online, but over the years, online security has improved. This has benefited the online gambling industry well.

Even before this pandemic has started, the online gambling sector has been the holy grail of many states and countries when it comes to gambling revenues. An example is how 80 to 90 percent of the sports betting revenue in the state of New Jersey is from the online sector.

The thing is that even without the on-going crisis because of COVID-19, the online gambling industry is expected to continuously grow. But since right now, people are advised to quarantine themselves and stay indoors, the growth of the online gambling sector might significantly move in the next few weeks.

It’s really the physical bookies and casinos that are greatly and negatively impacted by this pandemic. Land-based operators with online services can be considered lucky since they can still operate and survive as a business.

It is the sports betting sector that is struggling right now since major sports events worldwide are now either canceled or postponed. Major sports events like the NBA, the English Premier League, and even the Olympics are now postponed until further notice.

There still are sports events that aren’t canceled just yet and these are the ones that are held in parts of Northern America and Russia. Japan still has a few sports events in place, including sumo wrestling. Now, these are the kind of sports that punters don’t usually see on the sites of their favorite bookies, but because there is a lack of sports events right now, bookmakers are getting creative with the odds that they offer.

Some online bookies now offer odds on events that not related to sports. People can now wager on the weather in different cities and the outcome of many TV shows. In some countries like Russia, local bookmakers even offer odds on coronavirus-related events.

Now, these may sound funny to some but people are actually wagering on these odds. The bookmakers see these as effective solutions to remain in business and to continuously serve their customers. It’s also a good way for people to remain entertained during the coronavirus quarantine period.

Gambling shares on the stock markets around the world are also plummeting. Gambling companies like Flutter Entertainment, GVC Holdings, William Hill, and The Stars Group all have issued statements regarding the possible impact of the pandemic in their operations.

Flutter’s shares were down at nearly 12 percent while TSG was down at 17.5 percent last Monday. William Hill expressed that over 50 percent of their revenue in 2019 came from sports betting and it is likely that they will suffer a loss of 100 million to 110 million pounds this year.

Pretty much the same thing goes with the earning of GVC. Last year, 45 percent of the company’s revenue also came from sports betting. They are expecting that this year, their earnings would fall between 130 to 15 million pounds, depending on a variety of scenarios.

All these companies heavily rely on sports betting when it comes to revenues and so it only makes sense that they will be taking a hard hit during this crisis. However, there are still many gambling companies that also offer other opportunities for gamblers. Some bookies do offer online casino games and daily fantasy sports betting. These are betting opportunities that may experience significant growth in the next few weeks.