Coronavirus Expected To Knock Casino Industry
In less than three months, the new coronavirus COVID-19 has infected more than 90,000 people around the world. The unprecedented outbreak has led to the imposition of quarantines and travel restrictions, worries of a global recession, and to the revision of casino and gambling industry forecasts for 2020.
According to the latest reports, H2 Gambling Capital now predicts that the global gambling market will see the gross win fall by at least 1% year on year. The current prediction of C$452 billion is 4.8% less than what the data specialist company predicted before the COVID-19 outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December last year. Overall, the global market is expected to lose as much as 8% of its value.
If the company’s forecast is correct, land-based industry will see a drop for the second year in a row. The gross win of land-based gambling is expected to drop by 2.4% to C$386 billion.
Revised Forecasts For 8 Markets
The company also revised its predictions for eight different casino and sports betting markets, namely China, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea.
The shuttering of businesses, school closures, and tough measures imposed by the government in a bid to control the coronavirus outbreak has already impacted gambling in China, Macau, and Singapore. Whereas the world gambling industry was not too badly affected by the effects of the 2002/2003 SARS outbreak in China, the situation looks like it is going to be vastly different this time.
The C$9 billion Chinese gross win in 2002/2003 was a mere 3.5% of the global total. In 2019, the $71 billion gross win generated by the country was a much more significant 16%. One needs only look to the autonomous region of Macau to see just how much of an impact a decrease in Chinese gambling could have. Macau’s February 2020 casino gross win of MOP$3.10 billion was 88% lower than 2019’s, year on year.
However, despite the dismal performances in Asia’s land-based casinos in the first quarter, some firms are maintaining a positive outlook. The Hong Kong-listed gaming and hotel company NagaCorp claimed that its long-term prospects would remain good even if operations were disrupted for six months of the year.
Improved Outlook For Online Gambling
Although the company’s overall predictions for the world casino and betting industry are generally negative, it did offer a glimmer of hope. H2 Gambling Capital expects an increase in online betting’s share of the global gaming gross to increase from the 13.4% predicted initially to 14.7%.
This could increase to 15% or higher if the COVID-19 outbreak is not contained during the second quarter. Even so, the situation for online operators remains precarious. Revenues still could be affected by the cancellation of major sporting and other events.
Coronavirus and COVID-19
Caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease. It has killed more than 3000 people around the world since December 2019.
According to the World Health Organisation, a dry cough, as well as a fever and feeling tired are among the most common symptoms. Less common symptoms include a blocked or runny nose, a sore throat, bodily aches, and diarrhoea. Some patients who tested positive for the coronavirus did not develop any symptoms whatsoever.
Approximately 1 in 6 people who contract COVID-19 become seriously ill. Those most at risk of this include the elderly, children, and people whose health is compromised by existing conditions. The disease has a mortality rate of approximately 2%, while almost 80% of those who contract COVID-19 recover from it without special medical intervention.
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