COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has affected all the countries of the world. The response to the virus, justified or not, has had devastating effects on families, businesses, and countries. Most individuals can have the virus and recover without needing specialized medical care. In fact even the CDC says up to 80% of people can have the virus, and not even know. Others can develop severe illnesses from the virus, especially when they have underlying conditions.
To help limit the spread of COVID-19, close contact between person is prohibited, and individuals are advised to wear a face mask when outdoor and wash their hands regularly.
How has this pandemic affected casinos in the United Kingdom? The answer to the question will be unveiled in this article; relax, get a cup of coffee, and read on.
COVID-19 and Effect On The Economy
COVID-19 has a significant impact on the economy of the world. Country borders closed, and many nations have banned international travel. Companies, churches, mosques, schools, and factories are shut down in several countries. Only businesses providing essential services remain open.
However, the world is beginning to see some improvements in the last few weeks. Businesses are opening up; sporting events have started while schools and other organizations shift their base to the internet.
The UK Gambling Industry
In general, casinos, or the gambling industry, is a huge business enterprise in the United Kingdom. The casinos have their gambling licenses from the Gambling Commission of Great Britain. Gambling is an integral part of British culture. Although casinos appeared in the 19th century, it got a legal backing in the UK via the Gaming Act in 1960.
Sports betting is a big market in the UK gambling industry. Casino games are also a popular feature. These games include live table games, roulette, and slots.
Online casinos have been making giant strides in the UK gambling industry. They offer generous bonuses and free spins and support a wide range of payment methods, including cryptocurrencies. But, as with everything, not all casinos are created equally. OLBG.com have made comprehensive reviews of all regulated casinos in the UK, top of the list being All British Casino; which can be found here.
Effect of COVID-19 on UK Casinos
The COVID-19 lockdown had a significant impact on the UK gambling industry. All gambling venues were shut on the 23rd of March 2020. Traditional sports bettors were unable to wager on the various sporting activities. Sporting events like major European Football leagues, Euro 2020, and the Olympics in Tokyo, Wimbledon were all suspended. This had a profound effect on the revenue of the sports betting industry.
Online casinos, however, saw an increase in patronage during the pandemic. It is estimated that over 80-90% of casino employees lost their jobs or were required to take unpaid work leaves.
With the decrease in international and local trades, cash flow to individuals has decreased. The priorities of people have shifted, and this will have a profound effect on gambling behavior. It’s in two ways; while some people may seek to limit their gambling activities to focus their limited income on other projects, others may seek to boost their incomes by engaging in gambling activities.
When casinos reopen, there will be measures set in place to conform to the standard precautions against COVID-19. Hand sanitizers will be provided at casino venues, and there will be restrictions on the number of persons allowed into their premises per time. This will affect the gambling dynamics as more people will lean towards online casinos.
When Are UK Casinos Reopening?
The UK prime minister’s decision to exclude casinos from the list of businesses that were due to reopen on the 4th of July, 2020 was met with a lot of condemnation from the UK Gambling Trade and Standard body, and the Betting and Gaming council.
They felt that casinos were ready to reopen and they had put measures to comply with the standard precautions against COVID-19. However, good news came as a press release by the UK government on the 17th of July 2020 listed casinos among the businesses due to reopen from the 1st of August 2020.
Just like other industries, COVID-19, or rather the government’s response to it, has affected the gambling industry. Casino venues were shut down during the total lockdown. However, online casinos and betting platforms saw increased patronage during this period. With Casinos in the UK due to reopen on the 1st of August, 2020, changes in the gambling industry are anticipated.
Will there be an increase or decrease in the number of gamblers? Will online casino remain the popular choice? The long-term effects of COVID-19 on the casino will be a subject of discussion for a while.
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