Corvid-19 has undoubtedly left its mark across the world, making changes in all our lives. Taking stock post-pandemic, we can see not all the changes are negative. The land-based operations are the worst hit with online casinos seeing profits and increased registrations.
Due to regulations across the world, land-based casinos had to close, and the revenue loss has been tremendous. But, it not only the economic factor that is the problem after the pandemic. Attitudes have changed, with people discovering the benefits and fun to be had by playing at online casinos. One badly affected area was Las Vegas. This hugely popular gambling destination came to a virtual standstill. Industry analysts predicted it would take around 3 years to get back to where it was pre-Corvid-19.
This prospect, at this point post-pandemic is not looking good as the threat remains. The analysts are saying it lies with the promise of a vaccine. How likely this will be is in doubt. Matt Hancock is optimistic the Oxford UK vaccine will be ready by early 2021. The last vaccine developed quickly was the Mumps vaccine and it took 4 years! But being positive if the vaccine is available then 2023 might see a restart for the Las Vegas Strip and other venues that had to close.
New Developments On Hold Post-Pandemic
Pre-Corvid-19 considerable investments were pouring into the strip, with building work ongoing for the last few years. Planned launches for this year are unlikely given the situation. One such is RWLA – Resort World Las Vegas, a Genting Bethard venture with a price tag of $4.3-billion. The planned opening is 2021, and it is feared, that post-pandemic, it will see more losses than profits. Genting Bethard’s other operations are also struggling like Genting HK.
A fleet of casino cruise liners operating out of Hong Kong was the vision. The reality post-pandemic is not optimistic. At the end of August 2020, the company announced that it was struggling to meet payments. In fact, so much so that the Chairman Lim Lok Thay is putting up 76% of the company shares.
That is around six million shares as collateral and financial aid, according to Bloomberg. It’s a huge gamble, as a major shareholder selling his shares can be viewed very negatively and certainly will affect confidence in the company. Unfortunately, land-based casinos and betting shop having financial difficulties is something we may see more of post-pandemic.
A Positive Contrast In New Zealand
In the online casino world, we have a contrast in events post-pandemic to the land and sea-based casinos. Going down south, to New Zealand, SkyCity’s Entertainment Group has announced a profit for this year, with a fiscal year earnings revenue of NZ$1.125b (US$761m) a 38.6% rise over 2019 income.
Not all the group’s operations were successful; as in Las Vegas and Hong Kong, the land-based operations suffered. The shutdown of three NZ casinos and the Adelaide casino in Australia entirely due to the pandemic had a dramatic effect on the income overall.
All these are showing negative revenue in the 2020 report due in the main to the Corvid-19 pandemic. A positive contrast can be seen from its online SkyCity.com casino operation. Here the company was showing revenue of NZ$4.5m for its first year, plus, customer registrations over 35k by the end of August. Many land-based high-rollers are discovering the delights of live online casino and the VIP tables with the higher table limits. the question is will they go back to the land-casinos when they do open?