At the culmination of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were under the assumption that it would soon fade away, but it has been with us now for almost 2 years without any signs of slowing down. During the past few years, we have seen this pandemic impact various industries, including gaming. Gaming from physical casinos to the online 1 dollar casino was affected by the pandemic. Here are some of the effects the gaming industry has seen over the past few years due to COVID-19.
Physical Casinos Not Named Essential
Casinos throughout the world employ many individuals and keep gamers happy with endless gambling options, but the COVID-19 impact on gambling industry was clear when the list of essential businesses came out. Physical casinos were not on it. Therefore, players couldn’t walk into a casino and enjoy their favorite games. Dealers, bartenders, chefs, and everyone else employed by the casino industry were suddenly sent home wondering what the future would hold.
Overnight, the Las Vegas strip turned into a ghost town, sending the gaming industry into a tailspin. Casinos throughout Clark County and the world began losing money fast. MGM reportedly began losing $14.4 million daily across the 18 casino brand locations. Casinos in Las Vegas were closed for an entire month, so you can clearly see how much money could potentially have been lost during that period.
Online Gaming Thrives
One entity for the gambling industry has grown substantially, and we have lockdowns to thank for it all. When COVID-19 began spreading across the world, mandated lockdowns and remote work for all non-essential workers led the vast majority of the workforce to head home. Suddenly, virtually everyone started staying at home often and people had substantially more time on their hands. Entertainment venues were closed, so many of those stuck inside turned to the world of online gaming to entertain themselves.
Globally, gaming sites seen an increase of 39% seemingly overnight. Latin America countries saw the largest increase in the percentage of players, with a 52% jump in online gaming. Although North America only saw a 15% spike, it is still a substantial jump in users for such a short period of time. 2020 was the year we would all love to forget for many reasons, but it is also the reason so many people have invested in online gaming. Gambling during COVID provided an outlet for stressed out individuals to relax and just feel normal again, and many of those online gamblers have kept up their interest in online games as they are so much fun.
An Avoidance of Crowds
The gambling increase COVID-19 brought to the online gaming world has not stopped. If anything, it has continually increased. True, workers have ventured back into the office in many cities, but the scars of avoiding crowds have stayed with us. To this day, many of those still worried about the virus and the devastating effects it can have opted to stay home and avoid crowded venues such as concert halls, conferences, and festivals. Still, we need entertainment in order to maintain joy in life, so online gambling remains as one of the most enjoyable and safest activities we can invest in.
Online gambling not only gives individuals a chance to enjoy a little fun while they stay home, but can provide a substantial boost to their overall income. The notion of gambling, in general, was once a taboo topic for many, but in our world today, it is regarded as just another way to have fun. Gambling is a worldwide phenomenon, but in the United States alone, the increase in gambling has been substantial and over the past decade has shown a 28% increase each year. Even with COVID-19 restrictions lifted in many areas, the online gaming world remains on an upward trajectory.
Continued Reliance on Media Consumption
COVID-19 has certainly had a positive impact on the gaming industry as a whole. Online gambling continues to increase even as physical casinos open up. Even though the doors may be open, restrictions on capacity and times the casino can be open may be affected. Reduced capacity means fewer gamers can enjoy the gaming floor at the same time and in certain areas, it can be difficult to find a casino that will accommodate a varied schedule. Generally, many people that work during the day and used to gamble in casinos at night are unable to continue their normal routine, so turning to online gambling is a natural solution.
Unlike physical gaming arenas such as casinos, online gaming options are available 24 hours a day and do not rely on a physical staff to maintain gaming tables. This allows for gambling to occur on the gamer’s schedule and not on the regulatory board’s demands for when an establishment is allowed to open their doors to the public. The online gaming industry is set to continually increase as continued reliance on media consumption soldiers on. Even those that can enter a casino, often choose to utilize online gambling resources, as there is no need to commute to the casino just to enjoy a few games for a set period of time.
Can It Happen Again?
The COVID-19 Pandemic taught us all a lot about the need to be adaptable to a changing economy. For instance, restaurants that were never really reliant on delivery, suddenly had to introduce changes to their establishment to allow for curbside pickups and delivery options just to stay open. The same notion is set with physical casinos these days. Although delivering a slot machine for a player to enjoy for a while is completely impractical, many physical casinos have turned to offering online avenues for their clients. The mix of both a physical casino and an online entity empowers the casino to continually offer services even if lockdowns come back into effect. The gaming industry has certainly been changed by the pandemic.