It’s safe to say that the COVID 19 pandemic had, and is still having, a huge financial impact on many businesses across the world. Huge indoor entertainment businesses, such as casinos, have not been exempt from this hit – and it looks as though many Canadian land-based casinos will continue to face a post-Covid struggle thanks to new consumer behaviours.
A big hit for land-based casinos was the fact that staying home became the new normal.
All over the world, COVID 19 ravished society and we were all told to stay indoors. During lockdown periods, we were prohibited from leaving our homes unless we were of a specific category of person, eg, an emergency worker. It was during this period of lockdown that many of our usual habits began to change.
No longer could we pop to the shop for one or two items. No longer could we head to big indoor play parks with the children. And no longer could we pop down to our favourite land-based casinos for an afternoon of gambling.
How COVID 19 Affected Canada’s Land-Based Casinos
Gambling is hugely popular in Canada, in fact data indicates that 60% of locals participate in gambling on a regular basis, spending a staggering $100 per month on games. Overall, the industry generates around $31 billion, paying up to 15% in taxes. However, the pandemic has certainly impacted these figures.
Just like the rest of the world, certain buildings had to close during the pandemic; Canada’s thriving gambling industry did not manage to escape this legislation. According to Casino Hunter, all of Canada’s casinos closed during the pandemic lockdowns. Some land-based casinos attempted to reopen with limited numbers, allowing 50 customers in at once. However, it was found that this just wasn’t economically viable. Around 12 land-based casinos have had to close with no designated date for reopening.
For those land-based casinos in Canada that have attempted to reopen, they are no longer operating 24 hour policies. Instead, they will be closed for several hours in the morning to ensure a thorough deep clean of the premises is carried out. Several other precautions have to be taken in order to legally reopen land-based casinos, such as perspex screens, temperature checks, face masks to be worn at all times, and even the consideration of cashless payments.
The Future of Casinos in Canada
Customers are hesitant to go back out to land-based casinos. Online casinos have had a detrimental effect to land-based casinos as it has enabled those with anxieties about COVID 19 to continue to gamble, without having to worry about getting back out into the work, post quarantine. The pandemic has considerably altered gambling patterns in Canada’s provinces, and now many gamblers are worried about being able to safely travel to, and remain safe whilst, at land-based casinos.
With so many people turning to online gambling for entertainment, casinos are having to up their game. As there are now so many online casinos, they’re all having to do what they can to ensure they offer the best games and services. One thing that lots of online betters will be looking for is the speed of withdrawals. Gone are the days where people were happy to wait 3-5 working days for their winnings – they now want to be able to spend them instantly. The technology for transferring funds to bank accounts instantly is there and as such if a casino doesn’t offer this then they are unlikely to be popular with online gamblers who will instead opt for a casino that does offer the speed of withdraws that they’re looking for.
Key Points to Consider When Looking at the Impact COVID 19 Has Had on Land-Based Casinos in Canada
Like many countries across the world, Coronavirus had a huge impact on the financial state of the country, and the mental health of those living there. Here are some of the key points to take away when thinking about how COVID 19 affected Canada’s land-based casinos.
Everything was extremely quick to shut, however it is slow to reopen. Non-essential businesses were made to shut immediately in order to slow the spread of coronavirus as quickly as possible. However, it has been difficult for many land-based casinos to reopen successfully due to the fact that casinos rely on large social groups to operate and produce a profit.
Canada exercises cooperation, collaboration and communication. Interestingly, casinos across Canada banded together to share expertise and strategies for reopening without thinking about competitive advantage. This shows great comradery in these trying times and shows us just how important Canada’s land-based casinos are to the economy.
The Sharp Increase Of Online Casinos Usage Has Damaged The City Finances That Land-Based Casinos Used To Contribute To.
As a result of land-based casino closures, many regular gamblers decided to take their cash elsewhere. Instead of placing bets in the traditional sense, they took to gambling online. Online casinos rose in popularity exponentially, however, the lack of land-based casinos has caused significant damages to city finances, as well as producing a huge level of unemployed workers.
Unemployment levels lead to increased financial instability, which in turn lead to anxiety and a higher likelihood to participate in online gambling.
Due to a rise in mental health issues, studies now show that gambling online is safer for regular Canadian gamblers looking for entertainment, than land-based casinos.
Due to the pandemic, Canada is now attempting to manage a whole new wave of mental health issues that have resulted due to lockdown. Although gambling, whether online or land-based, is highly addictive and can cause personal issues for many, it also seems to serve as a distraction from many mental health issues, including anxiety that has been brought on by the pandemic. It seems that while gambling is highly addictive, the risks of the pandemic show that it may actually be safer for regular gamblers to entertain themselves in online casinos, rather than land-based casinos.