During the COVID-19 outbreak, people are looking for different ways to stay entertained while they are isolated in their homes. Hence, a lot of gaming sites have seen a massive spike of visitors in the last month. Online gambling sites are also no exception. In fact, it might be one of the few industries that have seen benefits from this situation.
On the other hand, land-based casinos can be particularly risky for contagion. While many countries impose more restrictions on social gatherings, lots of traditional casinos are yet to experience the consequences from the worldwide pandemic.
Coronavirus Countermeasures for Casinos in the UK
Currently, in the UK, there are 104 people that died after contracting the COVID-19 virus. The government is looking to add more restrictions that would prevent the virus from spreading. With that being said, the pandemic is the main reason why numerous restaurants, shops as well as casinos and betting shops are closed throughout the UK.
To help the industry, the government has put an emergency budget in place. This budget should ease the financial strain in the following months. One of the measures includes a 100 % business rate relief for the next 12 months. Additionally, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has guaranteed a £330 billion as an aid for the business sector.
However, these countermeasures aren’t enough according to the Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council- Michael Dugher. He has said that although the help is appreciated, the virus still has a massive negative impact on the gambling industry. Casinos faced a drop in customer levels by 90%. While the betting shops experienced a decrease of up to 60% with all sporting events being cancelled all around the world.
Moreover, Dugher has said that members of the Betting and Gaming Council employ over 70, 000 individuals in the UK. Based on these facts, Dugher believes that the crisis in the gambling industry is really a national emergency. The pandemic has closed casinos in the UK, but still, they have to pay their employees’ salaries.
Thus, they urge the government to accept measures that will cover the payroll costs. Similarly, the Spanish government has already proposed to cover 70% of employment costs. Although we should mention that the gambling market is much smaller in Spain. Still, nobody can overlook the fact that casinos in the UK have barely any visitors since the beginning of this month.
What This Means for the Online Gambling Industry
We can safely say that the online gambling industry as a whole hasn’t experienced a lot of negative consequences by the virus. And it probably won’t see negative effects in the long run. In the past couple of years, this industry has seen a massive rise of players with the increased usage of smartphones. While in this period lots of people live in isolation or avoid close contact with people.
These are also important factors that prompt users to explore different casino sites. But players that miss the traditional setting of a land-based casino won’t find the same atmosphere online. However, there are lots of Live Casino games on casino sites for this purpose. Users can play everything from Live Roulette, Poker, Baccarat, to Blackjack. Therefore, new visitors flock to online casinos and try out various casino games or play for fun.