With casinos across the world shutting down en masse during March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the world of commercial gambling centers. Numerous studies found that their closure resulted in a decrease in gambling frequency, but in exchange, the online gambling scene surged during the lockdown, especially amongst younger betters.
Now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted, gamblers are beginning to flock back to the physical casinos. Numerous casino centers around the country are reporting significant increases in patronage and revenue, causing a resurgence in problem gambling habits. However, does this mean that online gambling is coming to an end? And are casinos high-risk for COVID-19?
There are a lot of variables regarding casinos and coronavirus, and numerous trends have been discovered. Here are some of the trends concerning online gambling and the future of the industry after the pandemic.
Online Gambling in a Post-Pandemic World
After gamblers were forced away from their favorite slot machines and table games at their local casino, many began tapping the brightly lit screens of their smartphones and tablets instead. A report found that around 64% of gamblers started to experiment with mobile games and online sites that allowed them to continue their favorite pursuit. However, thanks to the convenience of instantaneous payouts and many other benefits, remote gamblers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The same report on virtual casinos and coronavirus predicted that 93% of online gamblers would continue to participate in virtual gambling behaviors following the reopening of casinos. Compared to commercially licensed gambling centers, the digital landscape is far more accessible to individuals who otherwise wouldn’t have set foot in a casino. Furthermore, it has been easier for individuals with problem gambling issues to hide their bad habits when doing it on their smartphone, as opposed to visiting casinos in person.
Gambling companies have taken notice of this trend and have begun to react accordingly to reclaim the revenue lost during the pandemic. Many casinos have started to transition to virtual spaces, leading to a rise in technology companies like Playgon Games Inc., which develops software and gambling games for the market. As a result, casinos and coronavirus have become more intertwined than expected, given how much it has influenced gambling industry trends.
Casinos and Coronavirus: Are They Safe Now?
Even if there is an increase in gambling online, physical casinos have still experienced tremendous success following the loosening of social distancing regulations. The American Gambling Association released data demonstrating that the country’s casinos had their best second quarter ever in 2021, realizing $14.6 billion in revenue.
However, with more people returning, are casinos high-risk for COVID-19? The answer will vary greatly by location, as numerous casinos and resorts have begun implementing coronavirus safety protocols that differ by state and establishment. Some require all of their team members and guests to receive vaccination and are committed to creating a sanitary environment through thorough cleaning and the usage of hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you or a loved one seeks treatment for problematic gambling behavior, here’s how to contact Gamblers Anonymous. Additionally, if you want to learn additional information about casinos and coronavirus safety or responsible gambling, read up on compulsive gambling facts.