As the first half of 2020 comes to an end, we can all agree it has been one strange year. What started with a threat of World War 3 with the US and Iran instigating it, was quickly followed by the death of one of basketball’s biggest player ever. And then the global pandemic that has been Covid-19. The year has been one for the history books and we’re only halfway done. No one can tell what the second half holds, but we sure hope it’s not downhill from here.
Gambling, betting and casino businesses have been some of the most affected by this pandemic. The situation is so bad in some areas, that the entire business model has been put in jeopardy. For example according to betMGM sportsbook review, nearly all major leagues in the US have been cancelled, suspended indefinitely, postponed to a later date or forced to play in empty stadiums.
This situation is not unique to the US. Europe has only now just re-started their leagues after months of suspension. And these are being played in empty stadiums too. Our own country Kenya is yet to even resume major sporting activities.
Obviously, this is not an ideal situation for sport-dependent industries. Gambling being the biggest is particularly hard hit. Although most companies do not announce their financial results publicly, it is expected they will take a big hit.
But is it all gloom and doom?
The lack of games can be argued to have caused a new uptick in other gambling activities unrelated to sports. Online casinos have particularly benefited from this paradigm shift. More casual punters who initially only wagered on sporting activities have picked up this new hobby in droves. Many have actually enjoyed it, knowing that it is always available unlike sports where you have to wait for sporting days.
When the world is out of the pandemic, it would be reasonable that many of them will continue wagering in online casinos, meaning this sub-sector of the industry might just have bagged a huge increase in lifelong clients.
Another thing that points to online casinos having a bigger future than they previously had is the fact that physical casinos have been shut down during this period. The best known ones in Las Vegas have not opened their doors for months, and even as they start a phased re-opening, the measures they are taking to keep their guests safe might end up being a major deterrent.
During this period, punters who enjoyed being physically in the casino have warmed up to accomplishing the same behind a computer screen, and many will never look back. This is yet another group of new clients for the industry sub-sector.