Gambling is one of the most popular leisure activities for consumers globally, but the Casinos industry has taken quite a hit from the global coronavirus epidemic. Most every business has been affected by the pandemic somehow, but industries such as tourism, gambling, and hospitality have all taken an incredibly hard blow.
With lockdowns happening all around us, and everything but the essentials closed for the time being in many cities we are now spending more time at home rather than being out and enjoying our favorite leisure-time activities. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, the pandemic doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Don’t fret, though, because no epidemic lasts forever, and neither will this one! We’ve beaten the plague, influenza, and many epidemics before. This pandemic will blow over eventually – but that begs the question:
“What do we do in the meanwhile?”
Many casinos, movie theaters, show venues, bars, restaurants and clubs are closed, and, sadly, a variety of other activities that people find fun to do are all on lockdown. Well, the heavier the effects of the pandemic, the worse the circumstances – and people in Southeast Asia, like elsewhere in the world, are doing everything they can to fight the virus at the moment.
This article will explore how the pandemic has affected the casino industry in Southeast Asia, what happened to the market before the outbreak of the pandemic, and what the future looks like for the casino industry in that particular region.
Some countries are just now developing a love of gaming, and the grandiose world of casinos is making its presence known in Southeast Asia. Casinos are getting increasingly popular globally, and before the pandemic, Southeast Asia experienced tremendous growth in casinos.
The casino industry was booming in this region before the pandemic cut its growth short. Countries such as Vietnam, South Korea, and the Philippines were experiencing rapid casino popularity, making them one of the world’s fastest-growing casino markets.
Close to southeastern Asia is Macau, which is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) in China. The Chinese are notorious for their love of casinos, gaming, and gambling – making Macau, the world’s most popular gaming destination because of the huge revenues that its casino gambling industry generates.
In 2019 the total gross gaming revenues of Macau were approximately, $24 billion, versus around $6 billion for Las Vegas. Gambling and casinos are so well-known in Macau that casino gaming taxes account for over 80% of the local economy.
Ironically, gambling itself is banned in mainland China, making the Chinese seek other places to do their business, mostly in the Southeast Asia region, as well as in Macau. Countries such as Singapore, Cambodia and the Philippines have experienced remarkable gambling growth, primarily due to China’s love of casino gambling.
As the pandemic is progressing, prevention measures to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus are becoming more widespread in the countries that offer casino gambling to their residents and visitors. However, some countries, such as China, are actually starting to ease their travel bans, thus making a visit to a southeast Asian casino a more viable option once again
Interestingly, Thailand isn’t experiencing as many coronavirus cases as the rest of Southeast Asia, thus making it one of the more popular destinations for traveling during the pandemic. For casino lovers, however, it has relatively strict gambling laws that prohibit anything except for betting on horse racing, or a government-sponsored lottery.
While Thailand might have strict laws placed on gambling, Cambodia’s gaming sector is absolutely booming at the moment, which is mostly due to its relatively loose travel restrictions.
In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, the world of casinos hasn’t slowed down one bit – it has simply added a new way for players to enjoy the experience. Instead of a real-life casino, many players now have the option to play at an online casino. Southeastern Asian players are always looking for new ways to get a daily dose of their favorite casino classics and this adds a new dimension to their search for fun, allowing them to play their favorite table games, such as baccarat, as well as a wide variety of the latest slot machines.
With the imposing of travel bans, restrictions, and curfews – there has been a growing demand for online casinos, especially in the Southeast Asia region.
As popular sports games across the world, and even the Tokyo Olympics, have been canceled or postponed, many people are switching from betting on sports to playing classic casino games, all of which are available online.
Following this trend of eased travel bans, the southeastern Asia casino market will keep on going strong. Since the advancements before the pandemic were well-documented, it’s expected that the market as a whole will experience a boom once the regulations and restrictions placed due to the Coronavirus are eased.
The pandemic is a nasty thing, and a lot of casinos have temporarily shut down because of it. However, just because the situation seems grim, it doesn’t mean that all is lost. Once all this blows over, the casino industry will snap back to its former glory, and it’s probably going to keep on growing at a sky-high rate.