Connect with us

News

Online poker: the biggest winner during the coronavirus pandemic

Published

on

 

 

The gambling industry has experienced both extremes during the coronavirus pandemic. On one side, land-based casinos and sportsbooks have been hit extremely hard.

The effects of lockdowns, quarantines, travel restrictions and social distancing measures have meant casinos have been forced to close for more than three months – and the financial consequences have been devastating. From Las Vegas to New Jersey, London to Macau – casinos all around the world are posting all-time low revenues.

Similarly, the lockdown of the vast majority of professional sport has seen sportsbooks grind to a halt, with sports betting companies in the United Kingdom and Europe experiencing slumps between 40 and 60 percent since March.

While the return of sport has helped the sector rebound to an extent, the cancellation of Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics have presented other challenges as such major, international events are prime opportunities for sportsbook companies to attract new customers.

However, while land-based casinos and sportsbooks have felt the full force of the Covid-19 outbreak, other areas of the gambling world have thrived.

Online gambling in the United States, the United Kingdom, and mainland Europe has seen a record surge in the past few months as the very reasons that have damaged land-based casinos – such as lockdowns and social distancing – have directly benefited online operations.

For instance, New Jersey recorded record revenues in May for online casino betting, as companies, like BetAmerica, who offers this service profiting from the lockdown. Meanwhile The Stars Group in the UK reported a 92 percent increase in revenue the same month compared to 12 months ago.

While slots and gambling games have seen a major rise during the past few months, the big winner has been online poker.

Three of the four states in the US with legal online poker operations have reported a huge spike in revenues, while the fourth – Nevada – has not released the figures, but one can safely assume that they, too, have experienced an increase.

New Jersey saw online poker revenue jump from $1.57 million in April 2019 to $5.2m 12 months later, while Pennsylvania enjoyed 68 percent and Delaware 48 percent increases when comparing the same two months.

The trends are similar in Europe. In France, for example, online poker revenue is up 44.1 percent compared to the same month last year while UK-based gambling giant 888 has seen its share price surge.

Of all the online gambling games, poker has been uniquely placed to benefit from the current situation.

As friends and family members have been kept apart, poker has been a popular means of socializing. It explains the increased popularity of Poker Stars’ Private Home Games and the rush of competitors to launch similar services.

“It’s only natural. People are stuck at home, they’re bored and even though there are more live poker options starting right now, people are just hesitant to jump right back in because of the health risk implications,” said professional poker player Danielle Andersen.

Then there has been the move online for prestigious professional events which would otherwise have been cancelled or postponed.

It was announced in June that the World Series of Poker – which had been scheduled to take place from May 26 to July 15 at the Rio Convention Center in Las Vegas – would be held online throughout July through to the first week of September.

By taking the 2020 WSOP online, it has also increased the size of the player pool, allowing players from outside the United States to compete for WSOP bracelets.

While poker great Daniel Negreanu said the move online was a “classic case of making the best of it”, it has still allowed professional poker to continue – a luxury many other sports and competitions do not have.

Meanwhile, professional poker’s other flagship event, PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship, has been canceled.

Aware of the surge in popularity of online poker during these unprecedented times, operators have poured greater investment, marketing, and technology into their poker operations, which will only benefit the game in the long term and help attract and retain more customers.

As life gradually returns to normal, online poker will naturally see a relative decline in interest as millions of people are no longer confined to their homes and professional players are once again able to attend live events.

But what this pandemic has shown is that poker has not only been able to survive under such trying circumstances but has thrived.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Big Betting Brands to Build on New Revenue Streams in 2021

Published

on

Big Betting Brands to Build on New Revenue Streams in 2021

 

Rain, shine, regulation issues or pandemic, it seems nothing stops the UK sports betting industry from moving forward with new plans to evolve and find additional ways to turn a profit.

That being said, there’s no question that 2020 has been one of the more challenging years, even for the giants of the UK sportsbook sector. Beyond the lockdowns of physical betting shops as well as football and other major sports leagues shutting down for three months, regulation is always a concern. This is especially true when it comes to the protection of underage and problem gamblers.

For instance, recently, the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) called for a ban on gambling advertisements in the UK. The issue the APPG has isn’t specifically related to the ads themselves, but the serious negative effects they may have on individuals who are trying to distance themselves from the industry due to gambling-related problems, addiction or any other reason.

Still, even with the ongoing pandemic and the threat of tightening regulations, UK bookmakers, particularly the industry’s big bookies like BetFred, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral, to name a few, continue to push forward with the hopes of making 2021 a more profitable year than 2020.

Betfred Hopes to Make it Big in the US Betting Market

Taking a look at Betfred, this isn’t an operator that is keen to put all of its eggs into one basket and is quick to find new revenue streams whenever given the chance. For instance, it jumped on the mobile betting bandwagon years back when it became available and now the brand holds one of the most downloaded betting apps in the UK market. Meanwhile, Last year (2019), it entered the US betting market with big plans for its Betfred USA operations.

Even though Betfred USA had not yet launched online when everything shut down due to the pandemic, once Iowa casinos reopened and they launched in Colorado, the sport that has brought Betfred the biggest action in the US market has been MMA. While this certainly pales in comparison to the big US team sports such as the NFL, NBA and MLB, once these are back in full swing next year, the company expects to see an uptick in volume.

William Hill Intends to Merge its Retail and Online Businesses

William Hill is another big bookie making the news. William Hill is set to merge retail and online businesses according to a recent announcement made by the UK operator. Phil Walker, William Hill’s UK online managing director has announced that he will take over responsibility for the UK Single Market Division and will work alongside the head of the retail division, Nicola Frampton, during a six-month transition period before Frampton steps down.

The merger is William Hill’s new plan to overcome regulatory and economic obstacles, including the betting restrictions decision on FOBT in 2019, which resulted in the shuttering of 713 of its betting shops.

Ladbrokes and Coral Re-open Betting Shops

Wasting no time for the opportunity to welcome back profits from their physical betting shops, GVC announced the re-opening of its Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops in England back in June. Since 15 June, all 2,455 shops in England have opened their doors with the ease of the pandemic lockdown in the UK.


That said, new health and safety measures have been put into place to support social distancing and additional hand sanitizer stations. Moreover, there are pre-shop opening checks as well as clear guidance on maximum customer occupancy levels, which are based on the layout and size of each shop. GVC is gearing up to make the most of the remainder of 2020, readying to welcome in a more revenue rich 2021.

All in all, it will be interesting to see what other new steps UK bookies – big or small – will take to ensure that next year is a profitable one.

Continue Reading

News

Casinos around the world cautiously reopen to a new normal

Published

on

 

Given how devastatingly hit the casino business has been in the past few months, it should come as little surprise that casino operators around the world are hurriedly reopening their doors at the first opportunity.

Revenue reports from March to July – effectively when the novel coronavirus had spread across the planet and forced countries to impose severe lockdown measures – made for grim reading in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia.

In Nevada and New Jersey – the biggest casino hotspots in the US – recorded losses of up to and more than 90 percent compared to the same months in 2019. In the UK and mainland Europe, the figures were similar, while Macau – the gambling capital of the world – saw three successive months of revenue drops over 90 percent.

While online operations have seen a surge as millions of people have been forced to stay at home, that makes no difference to the many people whose livelihoods depend on land-based casinos opening their doors and welcoming customers. Indeed, thousands of jobs have been lost and thousands more are still at risk.

So even as Covid-19 continues to plague many countries, casinos have understandably started to open their doors once again.

The United States – the country where the pandemic has hit harder than any other – has allowed casinos to reopen, even as new cases cross more than 50,000 per day. In Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey casino floors are once again welcoming guests, while casinos across the United Kingdom reopened on July 4.

Las Vegas has also reopened its sportsbook operations, so guests can visit to get the latest Kentucky Derby odds (although you can find them online easier through TwinSpires.com). You can place wagers on races and sports that, like the casino business, also went into lockdown but are now re-emerging.

Meanwhile, in Macau, casinos have also reopened but the mandatory 14-day quarantine for foreign visitors has severely limited foot traffic. The same applies to other countries like Singapore, South Africa, and Monte Carlo.

While casinos have resumed operations in an attempt to bounce back from a financially damaging few months, they do so amid a new normal for operators and visitors alike.

Strict rules and health measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of guests and staff and to limit the potential spread of the coronavirus.

Maximum capacity limits range between 20 and 30 percent and face masks must be worn at all times. Drinking, eating, and smoking have been banned for the time being, while temperature check points and hand sanitizer stations have been placed all around casino floors. Glass barriers have also been placed around table games in some casinos to prevent the spread of germs between players and dealers.

Those guests returning to casinos may also notice higher gambling minimums or at least fewer options of lower minimum games. This is thought to have been introduced for two reasons. Firstly, it is viewed as an attempt by many casinos to drive revenues up as quickly as possible and secondly, to deter some players to ensure going over the imposed limited capacities.

Even with the many restrictions in place and the pandemic still raging on, the economical decision to reopen has helped to address growing unemployment in casino-focused cities and towns.

For instance, the union representing casino workers in New Jersey reported that in the first few days of reopening, between 20 and 30 percent of union members got their jobs back.

As measures loosen and capacities gradually increase, more people will be able to return to work after months of struggle and uncertainty.

It had been deemed callous to talk about reopening economies and getting people back to work during the early stages of the pandemic and when the death toll was rapidly increasing. But as the crisis continued and there was a realization that ‘normal’ would not return for the foreseeable future, then tackling increasing poverty as a result of the outbreak has become an inevitable priority.

The casino business is just one of many industries that rely heavily on visitors and tourism, and its cautious reopening shows that life must go on in the current climate, even if ‘normal’ is some way away from returning.

Continue Reading

News

Growth of Illegal Casinos and Betting Sites

Published

on

Growth of Illegal Casinos and Betting Sites

 

Plenty of reports have surfaced in recent times over the increase in the number of people taking to online gambling sites during lockdown across the world. Yet, what hasn’t been touched on just yet is the number of illegal platforms that have cropped up recently, too. Yet, Australia has just released details of the increase in the amount of illegal online betting sites springing to life during these tough times.

Despite Australia’s government going all out in a bid to block such sites from penetrating through to the country’s gamblers, it seems as though offshore sites are once again targeting such players in their masses. According to analytics from SEMrush, the number of searches for “online pokies” within Australia went through a swift leap in April to 40,500, which is massive in comparison to February’s result of 12,100.

Even more than that, an increase in the search for “online casino Australia real money” spiked by 540%, showing that the country still has quite the desire to gamble, despite strict gambling laws being in place there.

It was only a few months prior that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) ordered its internet service providers (ISPs) to block 52 illegal online casino sites. Those platforms remained blocked to Australia gamblers, but this hasn’t stopped numerous other offshore and illegal casinos and sportsbooks to appear during lockdown.

Australia Fighting a Losing Battle?

Some might suggest that the Australia government is fighting a losing battle when it comes to blocking access to offshore online gambling sites. There are so many in existence, that by the time they finish blocking them, plenty more will have opened their virtual doors. While it’s not specifically illegal to play online casino games in the country, it is illegal for websites to provide Australians with that sort of service.

This is different to nearby country New Zealand, where online casino gambling is licensed and regulated. That’s why it’s possible to find various lists of the best bookmakers in New Zealand, as these are fairly commonplace to residents. Yet, Australia is a bit more conservative when it comes to the accessibility of such. Could Australia learn from New Zealand’s setup? Well, possibly. But, it does seem like Australia has a bigger problem with people becoming addicted to gambling, in general.

That being said, research does suggest that the number of people in Australia participating in online gambling declined during the months of March and April this year. However, those who were accessing gambling sites did actually end up spending more money than normal at them. This doesn’t fare well for the industry in general where Australia is concerned, as the government estimated that last year, citizens lost around $400 million by participating in online gambling expeditions.

However, statistics did display that participation in gambling at offshore platforms prior to the pandemic had been on the decline. Unfortunately, that seems to have now become a little irrelevant with more Australians looking to satisfy their gaming needs while having nothing better to do with their time at home.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Groups

Latest News

Big Betting Brands to Build on New Revenue Streams in 2021 Big Betting Brands to Build on New Revenue Streams in 2021
News10 hours ago

Big Betting Brands to Build on New Revenue Streams in 2021

  Rain, shine, regulation issues or pandemic, it seems nothing stops the UK sports betting industry from moving forward with...

News3 weeks ago

Casinos around the world cautiously reopen to a new normal

  Given how devastatingly hit the casino business has been in the past few months, it should come as little...

News3 weeks ago

Online poker: the biggest winner during the coronavirus pandemic

    The gambling industry has experienced both extremes during the coronavirus pandemic. On one side, land-based casinos and sportsbooks...

Growth of Illegal Casinos and Betting Sites Growth of Illegal Casinos and Betting Sites
News1 month ago

Growth of Illegal Casinos and Betting Sites

  Plenty of reports have surfaced in recent times over the increase in the number of people taking to online...

Betsafe Sponsors Two Kenyan Football Teams for Three Seasons Betsafe Sponsors Two Kenyan Football Teams for Three Seasons
News1 month ago

Betsafe Sponsors Two Kenyan Football Teams for Three Seasons

  Not many people can say that they have looked towards Kenya for betting opportunities, although now could be the...

Gambling Advertisements Come Under Fire in the United Kingdom Gambling Advertisements Come Under Fire in the United Kingdom
News1 month ago

Gambling Advertisements Come Under Fire in the United Kingdom

  A lot has been developing with the UK gambling industry as of late, including the banning of credit cards...

Finland’s Veikkaus OY Seeks New Sports Betting Chief Following Departure of Sami Kauhanen Finland’s Veikkaus OY Seeks New Sports Betting Chief Following Departure of Sami Kauhanen
News1 month ago

Finland’s Veikkaus OY Seeks New Sports Betting Chief Following Departure of Sami Kauhanen

  The national gambling monopoly in Finland, which goes by the name of Veikkaus OY, is seeking out a new...

Cyber.Bet joins the Esports Integrity Commission Cyber.Bet joins the Esports Integrity Commission
News2 months ago

Cyber.Bet joins the Esports Integrity Commission

  Esports betting website Cyber.Bet announced its entrance to the Esports Integrity Commission (previously known as Esports Integrity Coalition) as...

AskGamblers Donates Funds to Charity Organisations – “Zvoncica” and NORBS Foundation, as Part of Charity Month AskGamblers Donates Funds to Charity Organisations – “Zvoncica” and NORBS Foundation, as Part of Charity Month
News2 months ago

AskGamblers Donates Funds to Charity Organisations – “Zvoncica” and NORBS Foundation, as Part of Charity Month

  Out of the original sum of €66,900 raised during the AskGamblers Charity Night back in January, AskGamblers diverted €50,000...

Poker – One of The Most Popular Card Games in The World Poker – One of The Most Popular Card Games in The World
News2 months ago

Poker – One of The Most Popular Card Games in The World

  Poker is said to have received its name from the English game of brag. The history of poker has...

Trending

Skip to toolbar