Coronavirus Update: Impact On Casinos Worldwide
You probably know that on the 31st of December 2019, the Chinese Government was made aware of the first case of coronavirus, now called Covid-19. The Chinese Authorities quickly reacted to the disease but its highly contagious form allowed it to spread quickly around the world, with the first cases outside of China appearing by mid-February in Italy, South Korea, Iran, United-States, France, Canada… At the time that I’m writing, almost 170,000 cases and 6,500 deaths have been confirmed and more and more countries have been locking down their frontier and asking their citizen to self-quarantine.
This safety precaution which’s both essential to protect our most vulnerable and to control the spread of the pandemic isn’t without its consequences. The first orders to restrain large gathering of people, followed by the decision of many governments to close restaurants, cinemas, museum and other non-vital venues has put an incredible dent in the tourism sector. Hotels have also been seeing a high increase in cancellation, closely followed by a downfall of new reservations. Casinos have felt the pinch as well, with tourists doubting the casino cleaning efforts and opting for the safer option of playing online. All Slots Online Casino looks at how the Corona Virus has impacted casinos worldwide.
The entire tourism and entertainment industry is already feeling the impact of the disease on their revenues and no type of venue have been spared. While we automatically think of the impact it will have on restaurants and shops, other types of entertainment industries have seen their stock plummeted as well their gross sale. Brick and mortar casino around the world are losing a lot of money what will have an important impact on the world’s economy. What will that impact be like and what can you do about it?
Coronavirus and the new measures
On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a state of Covid-19 as a pandemic. If you are wondering about the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic, you should know that an epidemic is when a specific region or country is facing a disease and that its spread is limited. Pandemics on the other hand are when diseases are able to spread globally and affect people from all over the world.
While declaring a disease as a pandemic does not state its level of danger, it does show how contagious it is. Coronavirus is a respiratory transmitted disease, so when you are standing close to an infected person and he or she coughs or sneeze without covering properly his or her mouth and nose, you risk getting infected yourself. You can also be infected through contact with an object an infected person touched after touching his or her nose and mouth.
As we said earlier, many countries are trying to control and diminish the spread of the disease by closing entertainment venues and non-essential shops. Casinos have of course been concerned by this decision. On Friday the 13th of March, Loto-Quebec announced that it would officially shut down Quebec’s four casinos: Casino Montreal, Casino Charlevoix, Casino Lac-Leamy and Casino Mont-Tremblant. It also closed its various venues in Quebec and Trois-Rivieres. We still don’t know when they will be reopened.
On March 15th, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. followed Quebec’s decision and announced the closing down of its casinos including Woodbine, Niagara and Mohawk, a closure expect to be finalized in 24 hours.
This decision was to be expected. Not only are brick and mortar casinos considered as non-vital outings the games in itself could be a vector of transmission for disease, due to the fact that gambling requires touching cards, dices, chips… Of course, casinos had reinforced their cleaning policies over the past few weeks, increasing the frequency of floor/handles/doors/chips etc. being cleaned but also by providing dealers and guests with hand sanitizer. Another measure that had often been put in place was to either clean the cards every couple of games or even to shred them and use new ones.
These new safety measures put in place by the casinos caused a lot of people to react, particularly by leaving positive and negative reviews on the internet. By the way, if you’re a business owner and you are worried about getting bad reviews from having to cancel appointments or delay them due to the Covid-19, you should learn how to better answer a bad review, distinguish a fake review from a real one or simply how to encourage your customers to review you.
In any case, having to close down shops is already having an impact on the economy of the world, a fact that we were particularly made aware of on Tuesday the 12th of March 2020 when the global stock market crashed. Already known as Black Thursday, this economic downfall has seen the US stock markets suffer from the greatest-single day percentage fall since the stock market crash of 1987.
Since then, the situation hasn’t improved much, with more and more and countries announcing the closing of their non-vital shops and venues. As we said earlier, brick and mortar casinos were among the firsts to be closed and they have already suffered a great deal of loses. Let’s learn more about their current situation.
Economical impact on Macau’s casino
As Asia was the starting point of the disease and the first to put itself in quarantine, it was also the first one to see the effect of the disease on its economy. The gambler’s Asian dream city Macau has seen its game revenue plummeted by 88% in February, a drop that is certain to affect both the industry and the country’s economy.
How do casino affect countries economy you might ask? While studies made on the impact of casinos on a nation’s economy have shown that while the gambling industry is not immune to recession and that their revenue have little day-to-day impact on the countries economic stability, it has also showed that gambling can help alleviate a nation’s fiscal distress during a recession. This is not only due to the fact that casinos and their frequently associated hotels and restaurants create jobs, but also because casinos generate a lot of tax revenue.
If we think about Macau for example, where gambling has been legal since the Portuguese occupation in the 1850s, gambling tourism represents 50% of the local economy. While the new flight shaming phenomenon hasn’t had an effect on Macau tourism yet, casinos there have been shut down for 15 days due to the Cov-19, losing millions on a daily basis. Local units of MGM Resorts International for example have declared losses of about $1.5 million everyday while Wynn Resorts Ltd. have declared astonishing losses of about $2.5 million per day.
Since the reopening of Macau’s casino on the 20th of February, visitors have been slowly coming back but the fear of the disease still keeps their number low.
Economic impact on US gambling industry
The United States gambling industry has also been highly impacted, particularly in Las Vegas were MGM announced on the 16th of March that they would be closing their 13 casinos and hotels, following the shutdown of other ventures around the country. They have also announced that their complex wouldn’t accept any reservation before May 1st.
Wynn Resorts also announced the closing of their various casino and hotels in Las Vegas and around the countries. The shutdown is now planned for two weeks, starting on Tuesday the 17th at 6pm. After that, the company will reassess the situation.
Stock wise, the situation in the American casinos is as alarming as the one in Macao. 11 days before the shutdown, Las Vegas gaming companies’ stock had already dropped 14 percent. Back then, Las Vegas local casinos stock were deploring losses ranging between 4.14% to 13.86%. On the 16th of March, this situation had gotten worse:
- MGM Resorts is now down 19.51% ($12.42 in morning trading)
- Wynn Resorts Ltd is down 15.77% ($61.08)
- Las Vegas Sands is down 13.37% ($42.50)
All we can hope for today is that the spread of the disease in North America will slow down quickly so that our favourite entertainment venues can open again, and we are able to once again enjoy Sin City.
Covid-19 impact on Canada
What about Canada? As you probably know, Quebec has decided early today (16th of March) to close down all non-vital venues and is thinking about closing its border. While the situation here is not as critical as it already is elsewhere, with only 325 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Canada at the time I’m writing, gambling venues have already seen the impact of the disease on their revenues.
As we said earlier, casinos in Quebec and Ontario have been shutting down since this weekend and the Canadian brick and mortar casinos situation isn’t good. But while it is true that is pandemic is one of the scenario’s making the Doomsday Clock’s hands move closer to midnight and that the economic situation is certainly dyer, we still need to be confident in the fact the measures taken on by the government are taken to protect us from the disease.
By the way, let’s take this opportunity to quickly review what the information given by the government to protect yourself:
- If you were travelling, self-isolate yourself for 14 days after your return from travelling outside of Canada
- Monitor your health regularly
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds often and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
Anyone aged over 65 or with a compromised immune system or with underlying medical conditions should be even more careful. In any case anyone presenting the following symptoms should call their health care professional before dropping in so that the doctors can protect themselves:
- Difficulty breathing
- Pneumonia in both lungs
Keep updated on the latest government information and measures. While confinement still hasn’t been announced in Canada at the time I’m writing, it is possible that the government will put this measure in place to protect our country’s health. In that case, we ask you to respect the measures put in place. In the meantime, we advise you to avoid unnecessary outings and to keep you distance from at-risk close ones.
How to keep sane if we are confined home
Are you wondering what to do if the confinement is put in place in Canada? There are many things you can do at home!
Not only will this pandemic give you the chance to spend (a lot) of time with your family, it will also give you the opportunity to work on projects you have been putting off from lack of time. It might be the perfect occasion to finish repainting your basement or repairing the old chair that has been abandoned in a corner of your dinning room. By the end of the situation you might have been able to finish all those small home improvements you’ve planning – at least if the shops are able to continue delivering materials.
You could also use this time to read all those books and magazines that have been pilling up on your night desk. If you’re in need of some inspiration, I would highly recommend London from Edward Rutherford, an incredible book – although quite big – that makes you travel through time as you follow a couple of families through generations. If you’re looking for a lighter reading, you could learn more about the juice detoxing you could do this summer. At last, if you’re more of a thrill person, you could always start one of Harlan Coben latest mystery novel.
You could also use this time to have a little fun and binge watch your favourite shows. Between old-time hits such as Friends, How I Met Your Mother and new shows to discover such as The OA, Stranger Things and La Casa Del Papel, you are sure to find a show to occupy your time and mind.
As you might know, here in Canada we have one of the few licensing and regulatorily authority for online gambling: the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. This Canadian authority licenses online casinos from all over the world that are officially hosted on the soil of this American Indian community, conveniently located in Canada.
We also have thousands of great articles on our blog to keep you busy. You’ll be able to delve into an incredible variety of subjects, ranging from economical subjects, such as learning about bitcoins, psychology for example with our new article on serial killers’ lovers, pet care with our article on how to low down on listeriosis and your pets, biology with our report on the newly invented xenobots and a lot of other subjects…
And if you are interested in Health, you may also like this great article on How To Understand Sleep Cycles!