The Impact of Covid-19 on the Entertainment Business

Online casinoLand-based solutionsManagement
16 august 2022

The pandemic that began back in 2019 and continues to affect the lives of people around the world and the subsequent lockdown have significantly changed the functioning of gaming establishments.

The betting industry suffered the most damage. Major sporting events have been cancelled. As a result, bookmakers have lost many opportunities to make profits. Operators had to wait for better times or switch to other gambling formats, in particular online services.

The situation with land-based gambling clubs was also quite unstable. Most venues were forced to close. Some establishments continued to work under strict limitations and adapt to new realities.

Gambling business and Covid-19: impact

The only area of ​​the entertainment business that has not encountered difficulties is the internet sphere. On the contrary, some operators have received a new influx of web traffic due to the closure of land-based clubs.

Online Casino Market has studied the impact of the pandemic and the lockdown on various sectors of the gambling industry. Check out the facts and figures received. We also offer business development on a turnkey basis.

The Essence of the Research

The experts have prepared a survey for representatives of the gaming business. It contained 8 questions about the work of entertainment establishments after the opening.

The study involved 26 entrepreneurs from 27 countries in Europe, Africa, and South America, for example:

The first 5 questions implied sharing the personal experience of entrepreneurs about working under quarantine restrictions.

How the Pandemic Influenced the Interaction with Slot Machines

The poll results look like this:

Variant

Responses

Percentage of participants, %

The implementation of social distancing

22

61.11

Complete refusal to work with slot machines

13

36.11

The installation of protective partitions

22

61.11

The disinfection after each client

27

75

Turning off machines after game sessions and before cleaning

7

19.44

Work without changes

0

0

Another answer

8

22.22

Interestingly, more than a third of the participants surveyed said that they had given up working with video slots after the restrictions were eased. In most cases, this was due to limited space.

Entrepreneurs could not arrange gaming cabinets at the right distance from each other. At the same time, more than 60% of respondents managed to change the layout of their gambling halls to comply with the new rules.

Some owners of land-based establishments shared their experience in implementing new security measures. In particular, 75% of surveyed businessmen performed regular disinfection of machines after each player.

They launched a special notification system. It helped employees clean up on time. Some operators carried out regular disinfection according to a pre-planned schedule.

Work with Tables

Table casino games during the pandemic

Explore the results obtained:

Variant

Responses

Percentage of participants, %

The reduction in the number of guests allowed per table

25

71.43

The change of gaming tables’ location

7

20

Complete refusal of table games

10

28.57

Decrease in the number of employees per table

2

5.71

The absence of gaming tables before the pandemic

1

2.86

Work without changes

1

2.86

Another answer

13

37.14

Not all entrepreneurs have gaming tables in their assortment. However, those who provide such a service shared their experience of adapting to work in quarantine conditions.

It is noteworthy that about 30% of the respondents did not change the allowed number of players. Some entrepreneurs were unable to change the location of gaming tables in their halls due to their massive sizes.

In addition, businessmen have implemented such changes in their workflow:

  • the installation of protective barriers;
  • maximum 3 players per table;
  • no more than 6 users per AR gaming session;
  • a reduced number of chairs for guests.

The Sale of Drinks and Food

Here are the results of the research:

Variant

Responses

Percentage of participants, %

The closure of restaurants

4

11.11

The closure of bars

5

13.89

Reduced number of seats in restaurants

23

63.89

Waiter service only

12

33.33

The lack of waiter service

2

5.56

The cancellation of food and drink sales

2

5.56

Work without changes

3

8.33

Another answer

13

36.11

Some entrepreneurs have taken drastic measures and completely stopped the sale of food and drinks with the closure of bars and restaurants.

Other businessmen continued to provide services following quarantine restrictions, for example, decreasing the number of places for guests.

The owners of entertainment establishments have also taken such measures:

  • the sale of drinks in disposable cups;
  • self-service (buffet);
  • the closure of bars and restaurants after midnight.

The Launch of Promotional Campaigns

Casino promotion during the pandemic

Consider the figures obtained:

Variant

Responses

Percentage of participants, %

The termination of all marketing activities

9

25

The suspension of promotions with a large audience

17

47.22

Targeted advertising campaigns only

8

22.22

Loyalty programs only

11

30.56

Work without changes

4

11.11

Another answer

9

25

It is interesting to note that a rather large percentage of respondents, about 25%, completely refused to hold promotions during the quarantine period. Other operators have begun to monitor the needs of players under restrictions to launch effective targeted advertising campaigns.

Some entrepreneurs shared their experience of making changes to their marketing strategies:

  • the launch of promotions aimed at new clients;
  • the creation of a reward schedule for regular customers;
  • the refusal to provide free drinks and food to VIP players.

General Implications for Businesses

The specialists gained such figures:

Variant

Responses

Percentage of participants, %

Reduced opening hours

20

55.56

Limited number of visitors

25

69.44

Interaction with regular customers only

1

2.78

Mandatory wearing of masks for employees

30

83.33

Mandatory wearing of masks for visitors

23

63.89

Another answer

6

16.67

Under normal conditions, most of the interviewed entrepreneurs worked around the clock. However, Covid-19 restrictions forced them to reduce their schedules by at least 3 hours. This was due to the need for more thorough cleaning and disinfection at the end of the working day.

Because of the limited number of places for players, most entrepreneurs decided to interact only with those customers who came first. Only 1 respondent focused on working with regular clients.

The governments of most countries have set a limit of visitors to 200 people. However, the operators commented that such a guest number has rarely been observed.

Relevant Issues of the Entertainment Sector Operation after the Lockdown

In addition to questions with the opportunity to share the participants’ experience and select multiple answers, there were several more test options (yes/no variants).

These points were associated with current trends in the entertainment industry’s operation:

Questions

Responses

Does your establishment use a customer tracking (loyalty) program?

Yes — 32

No — 4

Should visitors register before entering the gambling club?

Yes — 24

No — 12

When do you plan to start full-fledged work?

May — 7

June — 17

July — 11

Given the gradual transition to a full-value operation of the gambling sector, the owners of some establishments noted that their GGR figures for May and June were higher compared to the same period in 2019. This fact emphasises the great popularity of gaming services among consumers.

The Main Things about the Work of Gambling Establishments during the Pandemic

Gambling during the pandemic: key notions

Covid-19 and quarantine restrictions have become a real challenge for the whole world. Many businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic. However, lots of entrepreneurs have managed to stay afloat by adapting to work in a new environment.

Here are a few innovations introduced by operators to meet the current anti-Covid requirements:

  • compliance with social distancing rules in gaming halls;
  • thorough cleaning and disinfection of equipment and premises;
  • limited functioning of bars and restaurants or a complete refusal to sell drinks and food;
  • changes in advertising activities with a focus on targeted promo campaigns.

To learn more about the theme of gambling establishments’ work in Covid conditions and prepare your business for possible restrictions in advance, contact the managers of the Online Casino Market studio. They will gladly share useful information with you.

In addition, the company's employees offer a wide range of relevant products and services for owners of land-based and online businesses.

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Karen Fill

Author

Karen Fill

Gambling business expert at Online Casino Market

16 august 2022