In the past couple of months, news regarding the fast-spreading Coronavirus has been discussed by millions of people all around the world. In addition to worrying about the future health repercussions the virus will have on our society, experts believe that the current state of things will also affect our economy.
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According to predictions, various industries are going to suffer because of the virus outbreak: anything from beer production to clothing distribution. But the most surprising of all is the effect the situation might have on the gambling industry worldwide.
On the one hand, land-based casinos in various Asian countries are experiencing a reduction in the number of visitors, and therefore, are seeing a major loss in revenue. Macau, for example, saw a drop of approximately 70% in visitation rates as opposed to last year. In addition to that, the government ordered the brick-and-mortar venues to close their doors for a couple of weeks out of fear of spreading the virus even further. Even after they were reopened, people were more apprehensive about visiting them. At this moment in time, there is no knowing how substantial the impact on the industry will be, and only time will tell.
But on the other hand, some industries haven’t suffered as much!
Who Benefits From the Situation?
Some people who have caught the virus are forbidden from leaving their homes, as they try to keep the infection rates at a minimum. Others, whose health has been compromised due to other medical issues, prefer to stay indoors as much as possible so as not to get exposed to the virus by accident.
That’s the audience that online entertainment providers target nowadays, as those who stay at home have very little to keep them occupied. As a result, by the end of February, Netflix shares went up 0.8%.
Other tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Slack are also said to have benefited from the increasing number of people under quarantine. And while there are still no statistics confirming the following assessment, it seems as if the online gambling industry will benefit from the situation as well.
As an activity that can be safely performed from home, it has the potential to attract the attention of those who are forced to spend their time indoors. But even people who are not obliged to keep from leaving their house prefer to refrain from visiting public places like land-based casinos. Therefore, they are now drawn to online venues, as they seem like the safer and more responsible option at this time.
Maybe in about a month, when the first quarterly reports will start coming in, we will be able to determine whether fans of gambling actually spent more time in online venues than ever before.
While people are scared of visiting land-based casinos due to the Coronavirus outbreak, more and more individuals begin to look for new indoor entertainment options. Online casinos, among others, became quite popular for those reasons.
But will the public’s preference of online gambling affect the market as a whole? That’s a question for another time.