The Covid-19 virus has developed into a global pandemic in recent months. With considerable effects for all economic sectors in the affected countries, the gaming industry is also affected to a not inconsiderable extent by the effects of the corona. In addition, players are increasingly trying to find the cheapest casinos on the Internet, for example through live roulette, in order to save costs. Many people have less money to spend, which leads to less sales. However, the industry’s difficulties are far wider than one might suspect.
The Gambling industry’s Difficulties Under Covid-19
The ones that have been hit hardest during the pandemic are the regular casinos. Due to the prescribed maximum number of visitors and ongoing costs, the casinos worldwide are probably among the absolute losers of this crisis. In fact, they are so badly affected that, for example, in some European countries the state governments are considering parting with the gambling mfonopoly and selling all the casinos in your possession. A smaller area that has also been hit hard is the professional players. By canceling events, you miss out on advertising income and possible prize money, which could also cause existential difficulties for many.
However, the gaming industry itself is also directly affected. Software developers and manufacturers of slot machine games are struggling with a sharp drop in sales, as many online casinos and gaming houses are initially holding back potential investments due to the current situation. Manufacturers’ share prices on the international stock exchanges have fallen by up to twenty percent in the last month. And online casino operators are also feeling the effects of Covid-19. Although the casinos presented themselves on the Internet as an alternative to the real casinos, they could not use the pandemic to their advantage. Nevertheless, they are the area of the gaming industry that is likely to come through the crisis the least well overall
Effective Countermeasures Hardly Possible
Various measures have been taken in many countries to mitigate the economic consequences. States helped out with guarantees and loans and the reopening of the casinos was allowed again in many places under strict hygiene regulations. The online casinos themselves are also trying to get their visitors excited about gambling again with additional advertising. Nevertheless, seen as a whole, the situation in the end is more like difficult. Regular casinos in particular complain that if they are restricted by Corona, they will have to book the year 2020 as a complete failure.
Even if the current situation has been bridged by long-term loans, one should not forget that these could only be paid off with additional income. However, many experts doubt whether consumer confidence and thus the economy can be rebuilt so quickly after Corona. It is likely to be a demanding and demanding time for the gaming industry as well as for the rest of the global economy. However, one thing is already certain: Corona will change gambling forever. In the future, it will probably take place on the Internet even more than before, while many casinos will not survive this crisis.The pandemic has had and continues to have massive impacts worldwide.
There is practically no area that is not affected by the health crisis. Even such otherwise strong German, English, Italian and Asian economies were massively weakened. One of the most affected areas was undoubtedly the gambling industry. However, the industry is one of the few that has both suffered and benefited from the crisis. While land-based arcades had to close nationwide in the wake of the pandemic and the associated lockdown, online casinos could literally flourish. After all, passionate gamblers had no real alternatives and even those who were previously skeptical of online casinos have overcome themselves in the wake of the crisis.Easing stable again on July 1st . Most of the land-based venues were able to reopen. Nevertheless, there is still a lot to be said for playing in an online casino
The developments of the last few days are overriding many social habits and supposedly taken for granted. What is meant now is not the massive hamster purchases in certain segments of the supermarkets or the gratifying expressions of solidarity with older, lonely people. Rather, it is about the psychological background and effects of the massive closure of gambling halls and betting offices due to the Corona crisis. After all, there were a little more than 9,000 gambling hall locations in some European and Asian countries in 2018.
Society and most individuals are currently under stress and behaving accordingly. From a psychological point of view, the personality parts of people that are usually suppressed in everyday life then become known. This can be seen in the aforementioned hamster purchases. That in the current situation of the home office, the general retreat and “social distancing” but also opportunities stuck, open up at second glance. Slowing down, mindfulness, self-reflection and family relations are only the first topics that come to mind and which can have beneficial consequences if the subjective stress does not predominate.
But what do people do who are addicted in everyday life?, and who are now prevented from exercising their addiction? In the Netherlands, fear of the dwindling supply of cannabis was already evident in the corresponding hamster purchases shortly before the coffee shops were closed. An all too human reaction as long as the drug is as important in the everyday life of the individual as water for drinking and bread for eating. The main issue here, however, is a phenomenon that has already occurred, namely that gambling behavior is being prevented by the previously unprecedented closure of all gambling halls for gambling addicts. More than millions of people world wide are affected by gambling addiction or problem gambling. More than two thirds of the visitors to gambling halls are considered to be addicted to gambling.
For addiction therapists and researchers, an innovative situation is now emerging and, in the therapeutic sense, there is also an intervention that involves society as a whole for the first time. In terms of behavioral therapy, this means a real “time-out” for those affected, which should initially lead to withdrawal symptoms (in the case of gambling addiction in the psychological area: bad temper, aggressiveness, restlessness, depression). How the shutdown of the gambling halls will affect the longer-term remains to be seen.
So many visitors to gambling halls and betting offices are considered addicts and therefore in need of treatment that the current shutdown should leave its mark. It remains to be seen whether it will help individual sufferers to get out of the spiral of addiction, which means bondage and coercion. It would be an interesting effect. In addition, all the families affected would benefit from it. After all, no more than 10,000 of those affected have found therapeutic offers every year, and many more manage it on their own, perhaps because there is no other way. But in most cases the gambling addiction remains untreated and in many cases becomes chronic to the point of total indebtedness, family misery and sometimes crime.
On the other hand, the ban on entering the gambling halls and betting offices will give the online gambling industry an enormous boost, so to speak, a modernization boost of the gambling offers due to the corona epidemic. Gambling, betting and gambling can be relocated to the Internet relatively easily, in some cases this has already happened. An intense growth spurt in the direction of online gambling can now develop. This makes gambling addicts even more lonely and the indebtedness of those affected can develop even faster and deeper. Another conceivable scenario is that – especially before the already high psychological comorbidity of gambling addicts – there is a greater shift to other addictive behaviors, such as alcohol consumption. This shift in addiction will primarily occur in addicts who have a high level of unresolved psychological stress and an excessive, impulsive basic personality.
However , the main thing now is to see the opportunities and use. The corona epidemic achieves in a short time what prevention and therapy in terms of behavioral prevention could never do: the relative preventive temporary exit from the illusion industry of the modern “bread and games” society. It has long been known that excessive, addictive behavior has both socially stabilizing (“calming down the masses”) and socially destabilizing (“uprising of the masses”) functions.
The current situation shows at least – for those affected and for society as a whole – that a life without masses of gambling halls is possible. If afterwards the insight would grow it would be something to be gained by the fact that significantly less of such supposed “entertainment venues” is sufficient for society. The regulation of gambling on the Internet, on the other hand, is a completely different topic that will not be mastered for a long time, simply because the profit incentives for providers are so high