Governments have implemented harsh social distancing measures internationally and people are spending more time than ever online
Although many industries across the world are suffering from near economic meltdown given uncertain economic conditions of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the story hasn’t played out this way for every industry. In fact, despite the harsh economic conditions experienced globally, there are a number of industries that are managing to post record increases despite these conditions.
Beyond the obvious choices like online streaming services and food-shops, a number of companies in the casino space have posted record profits and increases in new users signing up to their platforms. Although the land-based casinos are suffering crushing decreases in footfall and revenues, the industry figures for online casinos are looking very promising if recent industry reports are any indication. Companies like CasinoTopsOnline are recording massive increases in new users signing up to their platform. Others such as the Canadian online gaming giant The Stars Group boasted record-breaking revenues of around $735m for the first three months of 2020 up to the end of March when the lockdown started to take effect.
Interestingly, these increases across the industry have happened despite the complete halt of all major sporting events around the globe from mid-March to the end of May. This seems to indicate that a large proportion of this increase in business is coming from users who might ordinarily spend their time on sports betting websites.
As governments across the world have implemented harsh social distancing measures, ranging in severity from total to partial lockdowns, people are spending more time than ever online. This undoubtedly accounts for a large percentage of these increases.
One important question that remains to be answered, however, is how these figures will play out as restrictions begin to ease in the coming months. There are two possibilities of how this might play out. One argument suggests that these figures will slowly taper off as restrictions ease and normal life resumes again. When the major sporting events resume, there is a chance many of the new users will simply switch focus to sports betting. However, another argument made suggests there is simply still too much uncertainty about when the restrictions will be lifted and if they will be lifted at all. In fact, with so many major sporting events postponed until the next season, this is in certain respects immaterial given there might not be any resumptions of major sports for quite some time.
Although it is still early days in terms of our road to recovery in a post-COVID world, the only one thing we can be certain about is that the world will never be the same once everything is all said and done. While the lockdown restrictions have all but brought a number of industries to their knees, other sectors better positioned to flourish in these uncertain times have posted strong growth rates. To what extent these growth rates will continue to rise or hold steady at all remains to be seen.