How Coronavirus Impacted Gambling Market in Canada
The Covid-19 pandemic has a massive impact on all industries at a global level. Different sectors are trying to cope with the crisis the best way they can, and some of them responded more successfully than the others. The same story surrounds the gambling market. Although the gambling industry will lose billions of dollars globally, specific markets reacted differently to new challenges imposed by the health crisis. Let’s dip into more detail and check how Covid-19 impacted the gambling market in Canada.
The rapid growth of online casinos
The online gambling market is one of just a few sectors that significantly improved its figures during the pandemic. That is not strange since lockdowns have been imposed all around the world, and physical casinos have been closed due to health and safety precautions. The number of new online casino customers soared in the past few months since players still seek their favorite way of having fun. That also increased the competition among the operators, and they started offering generous promotions to their new and existing customers. If you want to try out your luck in some of them, check here the best real money online casinos in Canada.
On the other hand, regulatory committees face a headache due to the increased popularity of online casinos. Some players are spending less money on online gambling since the stakes can be lower in comparison to land-based casinos. However, the lockdown brought many players in the temptation of staking high, and that can be real trouble for the high-risk problem gamblers. Certain categories of players are more vulnerable than before, as some of them lost their primary source of income while they increased their online gambling activities. Concerns have been raised around the lack of safeguards in place to protest the most vulnerable players.
However, there are several good examples of how to protect high-risk individuals during the quarantine. The UK Gambling Commission has advised operators about how to take care of the most vulnerable ones. As a result, high-reputable operators avoid advertising their brands nowadays in order not to take advantage of high-risk problem players while they are spending most of their time at home. That’s what separates them from less professional online casinos. The biggest operators in Canada follow the same example as they apply a player-first mentality.
Brick-and-mortar gambling resorts suffer the most
The pandemic hit the physical casinos the hardest. Since they have been marked as the potential Covid-19 transmission hotspots, land-based casinos have been closed. There is not anything surprising about that since they are not labeled as an essential business. We couldn’t expect a different decision, as those places are always crowded, lots of people are touching slots levers, and public bathrooms are used.
However, many of them are starting to reopen, but they need to comply with a number of health and safety requirements. Both players and staff need to be protected, and there are limitations to how many players can be admitted simultaneously. Besides that, the space between slot machines and gaming tables is increased, and playing equipment gets sanitized frequently. Those are just the essential precautions in brick-and-mortar casinos across Canada. We don’t need to mention that wearing a mask is mandatory, while dealers also wear gloves and plexiglass eye shields. Other amenities in resorts such as spas, nightclubs, or restaurants are still closed down. Although gambling activities in physical casinos are getting back to normal, many players are still not comfortable visiting them. With all those measures, the gambling experience is not close to what it used to be.
Sports betting also faces hard times
The decline of the sports betting market is what we expected to happen after major sporting events have been canceled in mid-March. The offer was pretty much empty since all competitions, races, and tournaments have been postponed. Bettors couldn’t find anything reasonable to gamble on, expect eSports, who also suffered from the cancellation of contests.
However, some of the most popular sporting events are back on the stage, such as the NBA. The organizers needed to apply strict rules for all the participants, including players, staff, and all involved parties. This is a clear signal that sports are getting back into the routine, as much as possible at the moment, but most of them are still taking place behind closed doors. Canada is not in a hurry to send players back on the fields, but it still needs to find ways on how the sports industry can resume.
Lottery and scratch cards in the Covid-19 crisis
Interestingly, the pandemic impact on the lottery and scratch games varies from province to province. But generally speaking, lottery ticket sales have dropped, while that is not the case with scratch cards. The fact that they are more accessible to by in the supermarket may have a significant impact on these trends. Besides that, some reports say that lottery winners were not able to cash out their payouts due to a lockdown. That had a negative echo among the players, although the Canada Lottery Corporation extended the claims period.
The impact on other entities connected with the gambling industry
Due to the uncertainty around the global gambling industry, everybody is cautious when it comes to making new investments. Whether it is related to technology or software improvements, or creating new partnerships, even the biggest brands on the market are reluctant to take a step forward. Less-established operators will struggle to secure their findings, regardless of how innovative their products are. They would need to be creative in order to find alternative sources for funding their businesses.
The Coronavirus crisis led to significant setbacks and restrictions in the gambling industry all around the world, and that impacts negatively even the biggest B2Bs. Budgets are going to be significantly undersized, and entrepreneurship will have to go through tough times in Canada’s gambling industry as well. However, the market will recover, it is just a question of how soon it will be. The recovery is likely to be slow, and the most important is to stay healthy, and the forms of gambling may evolve further to adapt to new circumstances.