How the COVID-19 crisis impacted gaming companies in the USA
In early March, the WHO announced the global COVID-19 pandemic, with the disease sweeping across every nation on the planet. In the haste to “Flatten the Curve,” authorities shut down economies around the world.
Sports venues, bars, restaurants – and casinos all had to shutter as we wait out the virus. The economic fallout from the draconian lockdowns caused global distress in all markets and industries as governments put the brakes on commerce.
The gaming industry took a significant hit, with Macau gaming revenues down nearly 90% of the year. Las Vegas is facing similar catastrophic losses in revenue in 2020, with projections not looking much better until late 2022.
However, all that action has to go somewhere, and with brick-and-mortar establishments closing doors to the public, online casinos are doing good business. In this post, we’ll examine the impact of COVID-19 on the gaming industry and what we can expect heading into 2021.
Changes to online gambling laws
The pandemic arrives at hat was already a critical year for online betting legislation. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing sports betting in 2018, leading to the formation of laws in 2019 governing the industry.
Ten states have guidelines on online casino operations and laws concerning tax collection on all gaming revenues. Most experts agree that 2020 would be a blockbuster year for online sports betting and gambling, thanks to introducing these laws.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania report an increase in online gaming revenues, despite the brick-and-motor industry collapse. We expect a great reset of gaming as more people continue to move from the traditional casino experience to the virtual world.
According to azBookmakers.com, the changes in online gambling laws benefit providers and punters. It gives gamers a safe, secure space and the opportunity to get in on the action at home, avoiding gaming institutions where the spread of COVID-19 continues.
Changes in consumer behavior
The pandemic changed the way we view our lives, disrupting every aspect of society. From how we get our food to how we entertain ourselves, we spent more time at home this year than at any point in our lives.
People are getting used to spending more time indoors, changing their behavior to accommodate the cultural shift. However, unlike in 1918 during the Spanish Flu Pandemic, this time around – consumers have access to the internet.
That means businesses like food delivery, meal plans, subscription services, and entertainment are all skyrocketing. These companies cater to consumers at home. With so many people spending time indoors, revenues are 4X to 10X what most companies predicted at the beginning of the year before the pandemic was even a concern.
With the internet’s power, consumers can spend more time indoors, without feeling bored or needing to go to the store to store.
As the Great Reset approaches and society prepares for a shift away from traditional freedom of movement and the end of legacy systems that slow down global growth, we can expect at-home services to continue attracting more investment and subscribers.
Changes in payment methods
The changes in societal behavior affect every part of the economic model. Payment methods at casinos are changing with the tide. Typically, if you walk into a casino, you’re paying for chips with cards or cash. When you leave, you’re taking cash with you for your winnings.
However, with online gaming, you can’t access cash. Going cashless is another part of the Great Reset we all have to deal with during the ongoing pandemic. Cash is for crime, and most governments are now making moves to remove cash from society.
With online casinos, making deposits or withdrawals in cash is not a possibility. However, there is a range of innovative payment systems with online casinos. Instead of cash, you have the option of making deposits and withdrawals using your credit or debit card.
Along with plastic, online casinos also cater to a wider range of payment methods. You can choose to make deposits using a system like e-wallets, cryptocurrency, or pay cards. If the future of the Great Reset, there’s no need for cash. If you can transact online without it – who needs it anyway?
Changes in gameplay
Changes to consumer behavior are apparent during the pandemic. The shift to spending more time indoors leads to changes in what games people tend to enjoy at an online casino vs. a regular casino.
Players that might previously enjoy cards might not get the same experience from a virtual poker game. Therefore, they change to slots or other games to get a feel for the different online gaming opportunities.
What can we expect in 2021?
Moving into 2021, we can expect the pandemic to continue to rage in the Northern hemisphere. With the possibility of more lockdowns in Q4 2020, and Q1 2021, the shift to online during the Great Reset will continue, full steam ahead.