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The impact of COVID-19 on EU land-based and online casinos

Exploring any possible impacts on the online gambling market and whether or not land-based casinos can survive after COVID-19.


The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a massive impact on many industries across the globe. The pandemic has resulted in various businesses and operations closing for months since it first came to light in March.

Not only has it affected the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of people, but it has also affected the economy and many industries such as the gaming industry. This is due to the strict preventative measures that have been put in place to stop the spread.

One of the preventative measures that had the worst effect on many sectors (including the land-based casino industry) was containment. While it had an extremely negative effect on the European land-based gambling market, many believe it resulted in a massive boost for the online casino industry - especially mobile casinos.

Land-based casinos and their future

Most land-based casinos have had to close their doors for months on end throughout lockdown.

This necessity resulted in massive job loss, revenue loss and other losses that would be impossible to get back. While some relief and funding options have been brought to the table, it is impossible to restore this thriving industry to what it was.

The economic impact of COVID-19 on the European land-based casino industry, as well as other land-based casinos across the globe, has been detrimental.

Months of no gaming action or customers has resulted in unimaginable losses. With casinos now slowly starting to re-open their doors there is a lot to consider. Many industry experts are wondering if land-based casinos will fully recuperate after the massive losses suffered during the pandemic.

Another thing to consider is that we are not fully out of the danger zone just yet, which means that land-based casinos are re-opening with various restrictions in place. Gaming Authorities and regulators are also taking great care in making sure these casinos meet the health requirements to stop the possible spread and prevent a full return of lockdown restrictions.

Players and employees must follow stricter health protocols if they wish to enter casinos again. It also means that these casinos can run while only allowing a small number of visitors to enter the premises at one time. Casinos are also not allowed to re-open entirely which gives players access to a limited number of gaming options.

Advantages and disadvantages of land-based casinos

As the online casino industry continues to gain popularity more are starting to wonder what still makes land-based casinos worth visiting. Any veteran or frequent visitor will tell you that, as with all good things, these land-based establishments have their advantages and disadvantages.

One of the biggest advantages of playing at a land-based casino is getting to socialise and have fun in a social environment. Merely the idea of playing a game like a blackjack or roulette in a city like Las Vegas provides some players with an instant rush of excitement. There’s just something different about being surrounded by bright lights, sounds and interesting people.

Other benefits also include getting free snacks, drinks and access to the buffet which is something you won’t get at an online casino. Then there are the comps which include complimentary services and items. These motivate you to continue playing as frequent promo offers are only available to loyal/regular players.

The disadvantages of land-based casinos are all based on the inconvenience as it includes location, travelling distance, and additional cost. Land-based casinos are not instantly accessible, you must drive to where they are. And then, of course, there is the part where you must wait your turn to get a seat at your favourite table game.

Has the online casino industry been affected?

During the Coronavirus pandemic, gaming enthusiasts couldn't visit their preferred land-based casino. This led even more casino players to explore what the online casino industry has to offer.

The online casino and mobile casino industry had a relatively large increase in the number of players joining casinos to play either out of curiosity or sign up for frequent gameplay sessions. As such it can be said that the Coronavirus has had an impact on all casino industries, but it has had varied effects.

Online operators have had a boost in players which has also led to gaming authorities putting more focus on the safety and responsible gambling regulations in place. Regions such as the EU has also put more emphasis on licensed and regulated online and mobile casinos to ensure players get access to safe, high-quality casinos.

The fact of the matter is that online gambling has several advantages especially when it comes to accessibility, convenience, game variety and rewards. Throughout the containment period, the online casino industry has seen an increase in players. Which included both regular casino players and the purists who prefer land-based casino gaming.

Could land-based casinos survive?

A great number of experts believe that the current pandemic will be the last nail in the coffin for land-based casinos and the final push towards online gaming.

When it comes to gaming, time will be the only determining factor especially once things are finally back to normal. And land-based casinos in the EU and other regions can operate on a grand-scale once more.

Online and mobile casinos might have taken over the spotlight in recent years, but land-based casinos have withstood the test of time. Some land-based casinos might have to close their doors due to losses suffered during the pandemic, but the surviving establishments can get back to full operational mode within a couple of months.

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