From alcohol to tobacco and gambling, the vice or sin industry has long been considered to be a recession-proof investment. However as can be seen by the economic devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic this may not necessarily be the case.

During past recessions, players were still able to visit land-based casinos and bookmakers without fear which enabled the gaming industry to thrive even in the midst of economic stagnation.

The Covid-19 recession however is a whole new kettle of fish - where previous recessions were caused by either stock market crashes or poor financial regulation, the Coronavirus Recession as it has come to be known is the result of a sudden, massive drop in economic activity.

With more than half of the world’s population under quarantine, businesses all over the world have been faced with an unprecedented drop in revenue which in turn has triggered a massive wave of layoffs, salary cuts and even bankruptcies.

With the future looking uncertain for the gaming industry, chances are 2021 and the years to come will look very different. Here are some of our reasons why:

1. The Nature of Covid-19

Covid-19 is a highly-infectious disease that causes flu-like symptoms in most patients. However in some cases, it can result in respiratory distress, pneumonia and organ failure.

While most patients will suffer mild to moderate symptoms, it can easily be spread from person to person through the inhalation of water droplets expelled from an infected person or by coming into contact with an infected surface.

In response to this, governments worldwide have ordered citizens to stay home and issued instructions to shelter-in-place.

Fears of infection and social-distancing measures have kept players away which in turn has forced more than a few casinos to shut their doors. Forced to adapt to the new normal and with no effective vaccine available for the foreseeable future, punters have turned to online casinos for their gambling needs.

Should the current situation continue for an extended period of time, the odds are that many land-based casinos will not be able to survive. Most would look towards slashing personnel as well as implementing restructuring initiatives in order to reduce costs as much as possible.

2. Travel Bans

Besides casinos, airlines have been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. In an effort to control viral infection, governments have begun implementing travel bans for both domestic and international travelers.

In the months or even years to come, governments may severely restrict travel both within and out of countries which could be absolutely disastrous for the gaming industry. As Las Vegas and Macau are amongst the top travel destinations for tourists looking to visit glitzy casinos, the effect of such restrictions are likely to be devastating.

As the numbers have shown, online gambling has taken off unlike never before with an increasing number of punters heading online. Even when all restrictions have been lifted, it could take possibly years for punters to begin travelling again.

Furthermore, the convenience and comfort of being able to gamble remotely may put some punters off land-based casinos entirely.

3. Increased Government Oversight

From regular players to recreational gamblers looking to make a quick buck, there can be no doubt that the Covid-19 lockdown has been good for business. However, online casinos usually fall into a grey area that swings from entirely legal to just barely..

Viewed as a sin/vice industry and regularly targeted by overzealous politicians looking to make a name for themselves, the gaming industry has never particularly endeared itself with the government. However, the tax revenue from this industry means that casinos are usually tolerated.

The extended lockdown period and increased levels of stress caused by the spectre of unemployment has caused many to turn to online gambling.

This in turn has placed the onus on governments to pressure online casinos into introducing measures to protect punters from themselves i.e. implementing smaller payouts and placing limitations on maximum bets.

As online casinos grow in popularity, one thing is for certain - governments are bound to take notice of this sudden growth which will mean increased oversight and stricter laws.

While the future may look bleak for the gaming industry, online casinos and bookmakers will likely benefit most from the normal.In order to survive, established players will have to restructure and redesign their approach. So, if you are bored at home you can learn how to play blackjack online with BetAmerica and when quarantine is over you can invite your friends and surprise them with your skills.

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