As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there are more and more gloomy predictions about its effects on the global economy. It seems that no area will remain unaffected once the crisis is over and the gambling sector seems to be headed for a rough period as well.
Namely, in the light of recent developments, industry analysts from H2 Gambling Capital are expecting the projected revenues from gambling in 2020 to take a hit of about 11%. Prior to the Coronavirus situation, the revenue forecast was set at $473 billion. Now, however, experts believe it will be closer to $421 billion, which is close to 2016 levels.
Online Gambling Expected to Grow
It is easy to predict that the online leg of the gambling sector will experience an increase in the new circumstances. With people being unable to play in live casinos, all action will move to the virtual world. Gamblers looking for some excitement will definitely turn to various online casinos.
H2 Gambling Capital expects the share of online gambling in the total revenue to go up about 2.5%, from 13.2% to 15.7%. 888 Holdings has already had a chance to benefit from this shift, with their shares soaring 38% last week.
Cancelation of Major Sports Events to Take Its Toll
Despite the fact online casinos and betting sites continue to operate pretty much unaffected so far, the gambling sector will experience severe losses, especially in the sports betting arena. With all major leagues and competitions being postponed all over the globe, betting options are quite limited and not nearly as attractive for the punters.
Back in 2018, the total income generated by EGBA members from sports betting accounted for 44% of the overall gambling profits. It was a total of €2.36 billion. With so many major events being cancelled, though, it is quite clear that segment of the industry won’t be able to generate nearly as much.
EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer didn’t hide this disappointment about so many iconic events being put on hold and he confirmed that these developments will inevitably have a significant impact on the gambling industry. However, he emphasized the importance of health and safety during this difficult time and expressed full support for sporting authorities and their decisions.
When Will Things Go Back to Normal?
The question on everybody’s mind these days, regardless of the industry they’re involved with, is when things will go back to the way they used to be. For the gambling sector specifically, though, it could take a while.
First of all, it’s hard to say when sporting competitions around the world will resume. More and more governments are introducing strict and restrictive measures and large gatherings are among the last things that will be reintroduced. Having tens of thousands of people in one place such as a stadium is a big no-no at this time and it might remain so for a number of months ahead of us.
Secondly, even if things seemingly go back to normal, it’s hard to predict just how big of the impact the pandemic will have on the world’s economy. With many people losing their jobs and companies being forced to reduce their staff and make salary cuts, it’s quite likely people won’t have as much disposable income to use for gambling even after the official crisis is over.
Right now, there are many gambling operators, both online and live. However, many might have to close their doors as the market will likely shrink. Those big enough might start offering big bonuses and incentives to try and fight for their share.
Of course, all of these are predictions based on the current state of affairs. There could be an unexpected development in the coming days or weeks, which could lead to a much faster resolution of this crisis. In that case, consequences won’t be nearly as sever and the economy should be able to bounce back and the gambling industry will get back on the track as well.