Coronavirus has created a unique situation for many industries, forcing businesses to innovate and adapt or lose out on much-needed income. COVID-19 restrictions have seen temporary closings for more entertainment-focused operations, including casinos, many of which have remained closed through the second quarter of 2020 however, online casino profits surge.
This doesn’t seem to have deterred gamblers, however, who have responded to the closures by turning to online gaming options and generating a record-breaking amount of revenue. It’s no surprise, as players have been opting to take their wagers online increasingly over the years, but the drastic shift in accessibility this year has asked both laymen and lawmakers to make adjustments and take a chance on internet gaming.
Changing the Game
Brick-and-mortar casinos in major gambling hubs in the US have seen their revenue contract 80%, giving way to their online counterparts which have made over $400 million in the second quarter. The popularity of internet gambling is nothing new, so many locations currently sharing a piece of that record-breaking pie are big brand casinos who saw the potential of online gaming early on. Some of the companies getting involved have been hard-goods producers in the industry for years, turning to software and website operations to adapt.
Where the Money’s At
The legality of online gambling is a tricky subject in the United States and as it stands online casino games can only be operated in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Michigan has legalized online casino games but hasn’t made them operational, and in Nevada online wagering is fine as long as players stick to poker.
Making waves just before coronavirus concerns, online sports betting is a different story and is legal in 22 states, many of which now see it as an opportunity to catch up on missed revenue with COVID-19 restrictions. Several lawmakers are going to bat for this once controversial pastime, hopeful to offer their restless constituents an economic windfall in uncertain times.
The Human Err
DraftKings and FanDuel, online sports wagering companies that have gone public this year, have found overwhelming success and seemed to bode well for states who planned to turn to sports betting to bolster falling revenue. But they eventually were hit by the effects of pandemic restrictions as well, relying on sporting events that were canceled or delayed.
Remarkably, many sports organizations like the NHL and the NBA are providing special living accommodations where they can maintain a controlled space for players to quarantine so they can continue to hold games. As the unpredictability of the coronavirus timeline in America drags on, there’s no way to say how this may affect the online sports betting industry over time. Online casino games remain widely the same, however, having developed steadily to keep up with modern players’ wants and modern technology’s needs well before having to consider pandemic concerns.
Nowhere To Go But Up
The convenience of online play as well as the overall interest in online gaming and the intersection of online gambling and video games–like in blockchain style games–pull in a larger crowd. Super developed technology makes online casino games accessible to a much wider variety of people, often only requiring a smartphone and even offering unique banking options at cryptocurrency casinos to play. And for those who only have a few minutes of free time to spare, online casino games are fast-paced and highly customizable, with hundreds upon hundreds of games.
On the internet, there is a well-established culture for online casino games that many American players and companies may find themselves just now stepping into. But the demand for iGaming options is stronger than ever, and not just because of the ease of use in the face of coronavirus difficulties. Even as brick-and-mortar locations reopen and pandemic restrictions are lifted, we may not see that revenue return to traditional casinos.