It has been seven months now since the COVID-19 virus appeared in Wuhan, China. Within such a short period, the virus has infected millions of people literally throughout the globe, a pandemic so enveloping like nothing we have seen before. The constant movement of unknowingly infected people through tourism and visitations is the main factor for its rapid widespread, and by the time the disease was discovered, it has already been spread to several other countries. Curbing its further widespread became a real nightmare, treating the infected ones became too overwhelming to cope, and without any available vaccine, the virus may go on affecting millions more in due time.
The nationwide lockdowns have managed to slow down its rapid spread. Citizens were being forced to stay indoors and to avoid contact with anyone. No one was allowed outdoors, except for enforcement officers, but humans being how they are, not everyone was abiding by the self-quarantine ruling. Screening and testing kits for COVID-19 were never enough for everyone, allowing the disease to play a hide-and-seek game, appearing, disappearing, then reappearing again, in waves. We have seen the second wave, and the third wave may just be beginning.
The world came to a virtual standstill at the peak of the pandemic. New York, ‘the city that never sleeps’ went to sleep. Paris, ‘the city of love’ saw no loving couples. Las Vegas, ‘the entertainment center of the world’ saw shuttered casinos, hotels, and restaurants. Roads and highways everywhere became eerily deserted, day or night. As far as the eye can see, in every town, in every city, the world looked like a ghostly realm.
Life has finally come back to the world. Cars are again cramming up the roads. People are rushing everywhere with errands to do, trying to get back to the kind of life they once lived, but can never do yet. Businesses started their operations again, but many were already forced to shut their doors. The pandemic has affected the world in every possible aspect, mostly for the worst, but the land, sea, and air found a refreshing breather for a short while – they became cleaner!
All businesses saw major setbacks in their revenues. Gambling operators of land-based casinos and sports betting establishments were hit so badly that their survival hangs by a thread. Macau, the second largest gambling city in the world, literally saw its monthly revenues wiped out, but are expected to survive, mainly due to their vast collected pile of funds. Casinos in Las Vegas, on the other hand, are struggling, because many of the operators are debt-ridden, and recovery may take many more years.
During the quarantine period, gamblers were forced to look elsewhere for their hobbies. Stuck at home, with no gambling venue open for business, they then turned to online operators instead. Online casinos provide everything gamblers would require, from sports betting, to live casino games and slot machines, and online casinos are where these once land-based gamblers found their new happiness. The only thing missing is the free food and drinks, which only land-based casinos could provide, but gamblers could always have their food and drinks at home. With that said, this imposes a lot of risk at the same time as more gamblers play more often simply for the fact that they are in lockdown mode with nothing else to do.
Financial experts believe that by 2023, online gambling would have risen quite substantially, probably reaping in total gross revenue of around 90 billion for the very first time. The emergence of new technologies, such as Virtual Reality (VR) casino games, and with the more widespread use of cryptocurrencies, the online gambling industry is perched for a greater and brighter future ahead. It is also probable that it may become one of the most dominant financial forces across the world.
Punters should always keep in mind they should be responsible when gambling online and always remember only gamble with money you can afford to lose.
So, stay responsible, manage your gambling habits, and try to find additional hobbies to balance your free time.