May 2021 has been a big month for casinos across the globe. After enduring well over a year of uncertainty, casinos are being permitted to open once again in many different international locations and across many different markets. Let’s take a quick look at some of the latest developments.
- In France, casinos reopened partially on May 19 for slot machines and electronic gaming.
- In the UK, casinos – along with bingo halls and amusement arcades – are part of the Prime Minister lockdown exit roadmap and reopened on May 17.
- In the United States, where gambling laws are a little more complex, some casinos were already back up and running once again by the middle of May, while other jurisdictions – such as Clark County, Nevada – were holding off until the beginning of June.
- In the Asia-Pacific market, most jurisdictions have reopened casinos far earlier than in Europe and North America.
- In Australia, casinos largely reopened in 2020, barring a number of localized lockdowns.
- In Macau, casinos have remained open throughout other than for a two-week period of lockdown in 2020.
- In Malaysia, casinos have been open since June 19, 2020.
- In Singapore, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Russia, all casinos are allowed to open.
- In Cambodia and the Philippines, all casinos outside the nations’ respective capitals are allowed to open.
There are many casino markets across the world, and we’ve just touched on a few of them here. But what impact does this reopening have on online gambling?
Casino Re-opening: The Impact on Online Gambling
Before we get into how these developments will impact online gambling, it’s important to note that online betting providers do not need to panic. While there will certainly be changes in the market, there is plenty of room for both forms of betting to thrive. With this in mind, here are a few things to bear in mind.
- Many casinos are not operating at full capacity
While casinos are re-opening, many are not operating at full capacity, which means online gambling needs to take up the slack.
- Members of the public are still wary
Just because casinos are open again does not mean that vast numbers of people feel comfortable in such enclosed spaces. Many players will stick to online gambling for the time being.
- Online and physical casinos have traditionally co-existed
History has shown that there is room in the market for both online and physical casinos. While online casinos have enjoyed a monopoly in many locations due to lockdown, returning to the earlier market structure will not be disastrous for these entities.
- We live in an increasingly digitized society
Life is increasingly being lived online, and the betting industry is no exception. Even as physical casinos reopen, it is likely that the convenience and ease of access offered by online casinos will tempt many customers in this direction.
- Online casinos will have to work harder to secure market share
We’ve already mentioned that there is no need to panic, but a business-like approach to the market shift is still important. Online casinos are going to have to work that little bit harder to secure their market share, improving the user experience and making sure they are providing excellent service to customers.
The reopening of casinos across the world is certainly good news for players, but it could be good news for betting providers, too. The increased competition – or the resumption of previous levels of competition – could drive providers to do more for their customers and to evolve their business model. This could lead to increased opportunities further down the line.