The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down. Many businesses that require mobility, such as tourism-related businesses went bankrupt while others that are done online, like movie streaming services, thrived. Others had to restructure their operations in order to survive and this is what happened to casinos.
In this article, we are discussing how land-based and online casinos adapted to this new environment where events are canceled and people are confined within their homes. Hungarian iGaming expert Peter Deli has given us his thoughts about the topic. You can read more about Peter’s work when you click here.
Changes in casino game products
Online casinos, such as Zet Casino, which accepts players from Hungary, offer loads of different products. A decent online casino has hundreds or even thousands of slot games, video poker, blackjack, craps and roulette. With the pandemic, people started showing more interest in live dealer games as it also brings a social aspect to gaming.
Playing in a live dealer game is almost like being in a physical casino, except that you don’t have to dress up. You will have a real-time video connection to a casino room where you will see an attractive male or female croupier (the choice is yours) and you can interact with the other players in the same room via text. In times of loneliness and boredom, online gamblers find it interesting and fun to play live dealer games.
Traditional sports betting suffered greatly with the pandemic. Sports events were cancelled altogether. People who have been awaiting the Olympics, the UEFA EURO 2020 or the Formula One Grand Prix faced great disappointment. Casinos had to find a way to quickly satisfy the needs of sports bettors – as some of them had already turned to the stock market or cryptocurrency trading – so they created virtual events instead.
There was a virtual Formula One Grand Prix and other virtual sports events have been created as well. Apart from actual sports, during the pandemic online casino made betting on esports events a possibility. Events, such as Dota 2 are watched by incredible numbers of people worldwide online through Twitch and casinos made the bets a possibility on their platforms.
Many land-based casinos during the pandemic created their online versions so that they could still get an income while they were forced to close their doors. In Hungary, the lockdown started in March and as casinos were non-essential businesses, they were not allowed to operate. Budapest casinos such as the Las Vegas casino group encouraged their customers to visit their online page instead.
Casinos are now open in Hungary but there are still many restrictions. For example, the bars are closed and table games can restrict the number of players or are not available at all. So, there is not much point in visiting a casino when the social aspects and the fancy drinks are off the table.
Covid-19: new gamblers and gambling addictions
Online casinos have registered a huge number of new players since the start of the pandemic. People have lots of free time and to avoid the monotony of staying at home, many turned to online gambling.
Unfortunately, during the pandemic, many people are suffering from mental health issues. Loneliness, depression, boredom, stress and anxiety are issues that many people face. Some people who lost their jobs found themselves in difficult financial situations and started gambling in order to make money. However, gambling is not a reliable source of income and people started to lose a lot of money very quickly so when governments realized this problem many shut down online gambling sites altogether.
While for most casino visitors gambling is just fun and they are in control of their expenses, people who now suffer from depression are more vulnerable to gambling addiction.
On the big scale, casinos came out of the pandemic as winners. They had to alter their business model somewhat but with new products, they are attracting more and more players and those players have more time to spend playing than before. Live dealer games and esports betting are becoming increasingly popular and land-based casinos are creating their online platforms to stay in the business.