The worldwide pandemic has been merciless to a range of local and international industries across the world. Some regions have managed to make the best out of the situation; these are the ones that have a range of industries to support their economy. However, not every nation is that fortunate. Particular regions such as gambling destination Las Vegas, rely on their local casinos to generate tax revenue which is used by the local government to provide funding for important sectors such as education, infrastructure, health care, and social welfare.
The pandemic has forced casinos across the world to shut down, resulting in massive amounts of revenue being lost. This also meant that casino workers have lost wages and other benefits, which puts the local government under more pressure as they would need to provide some form of welfare for these unemployed workers.
Decreases in Revenue
As expected, there has been a tremendous drop in profit at land-based casinos since the pandemic has started. The U.S gambling industry has seen a 31% decrease in gambling revenue in 2020 when being compared to the figures that were generated in 2019. This is reported to be the biggest loss in this decade and the lowest figure since 2003 with a total of $30 billion in revenue for 2020.
There are 998 casinos in the U.S with 911 resuming operations once they had been permitted to reopen their doors during the previous summer. However, 27% of operating hours had been lost, and this includes the series of hurricanes that had hit the Gulf Coast. By the end of 2020, 37 casinos across the country remained closed for good. This picture is very familiar to European gamblers in Vienna, Dubrovnik, London and other big cities where the situation is continuing to be difficult for this industry.
New Zealand, a global pandemic champ who has managed to keep everything under control like no other nation, had turned out to beat previous gambling records despite the situation. According to the Department of Internal Affairs, the revenue generated was the equivalent of every adult spending $204 on pokies. The final quarter of 2020 has shown that $252 million was wagered in 14,781 pokies outside of land-based casinos, which is the highest figure since 2007 – when gambling was legalized.
Surprisingly, despite all of this, gambling revenue for 2020 was down by $128 million, which is due to casinos, pubs, and clubs being idle for the majority of the year. However, online gambling, especially for the lottery saw an increase, with $631 million being spent on lottery tickets, which is a 13% increase from the previous year. One of the main reasons why New Zealand was able to make a quick comeback is due to the law that states that 40% of gambling revenue that’s generated has to be redistributed as social grants.
Therefore, the increase in online gambling activity has boosted the welfare that has been provided to New Zealand communities.
The Migration to Online Gambling
The real money online casino industry in New Zealand has seen tremendous growth following the closure of land-based casinos due to the pandemic. Despite the nation trying to clamp down on offshore gambling as it produces no returns to the community, the country continues to thrive due to SkyCity’s online platform attracting many gambling fans across the region. The online casino attracted over 30,000 users and it also provides a wide geographic spread.
There’s no doubt that the New Zealand online gambling market has seen tremendous growth toward the end of 2020 and in 2021 it continues to grow. There are many reasons why online gambling has become so popular; this is primarily due to the convenience factor and that online casino in New Zealand have much more to offer.
Social gaming, mobile gaming, and sports betting are also incredibly popular due to how simple and immersive they’ve become on online platforms. Social gaming allows friends to play together via social media platforms such as Facebook, mobile gaming is perfect for those that don’t have a desktop computer or simply prefer the privacy of their mobile devices, and sports betting has also been available on various online sites that has stepped up on their offering.
The general convenience of not having to head to a casino, especially if players live in remote areas seems to be a bonus. But the pandemic has proven that online gaming is the future and that online casino will become more popular over time.