iGaming struggles to compensate for the loss of revenues from land-based casinos during the health crisis due to Covid-19
During the global health crisis caused by the spread of Covid-19, iGaming seems to be a fruitful alternative to make up for the losses incurred by land-based casinos. The national closure of the majority of businesses in Switzerland suggests an unprecedented and particularly painful impact for each market. But is it really about the observed “revenue” brought by these online operators in recent weeks? CasinosNews presents this article to tackle this relevant question during this difficult period.
An unprecedented and devastating national closure for land-based casinos
Closing of non-essential businesses, including land-based casinos, is a necessary measure to limit the spread of Covid-19. We simply have to look at the worrying number of deaths caused by the coronavirus in order to support the government’s decision.
We can’t deny the devastating consequences for the economy on the national and global scale. This new phenomenon is, of course, a cause of concern for every land-based casino. In fact, even the largest Swiss establishments, real complexes with restaurants, concert halls, hotels and other services dedicated to the comfort of players, have experienced massive losses.
No online player is surprised by the influx of iGaming news
By imposing confinement for the security of all Swiss people, the digital world benefited from new consumption habits. iGaming seems to be an ideal alternative to allow gambling fans to participate in slot machines or table games from their mobile device (computer, smartphone, or tablet).
The recent CFMJ approvals of 2 land-based casinos (belonging to the Partouche and Sazka) are perfect examples and have made the news in a timely manner. Yet, is it possible to consider iGaming as a “sufficient” solution to make up for the financial losses of land-based casinos?
iGaming is an important but insufficient solution
Contrary to popular belief, iGaming-related revenue can only partially cover the financial losses of land-based casinos. Online casinos are primarily dedicated to a specific segment of players and the requirement of a computer or smartphone can present major roadblocks for certain internet users (especially the more “matured” Swiss player).
No operators have noted any turnover. However, some officials have spoken recently about their respective online casinos. Detlef Brose, CEO of Grand Casino Baden, talked about a “construction phase” for both Jackpots.ch and Casino777.ch, 2 platforms associated with his company. Wolfgang Bliem, Chairman and CEO of Casino Luzern, declined to provide detailed information relating to the Mycasino.ch platform.
The discreet comments concerning turnover for the largest groups suggest insufficient business to make up for the financial losses.
A reopening scheduled for June 8?
The Swiss government announced the gradual reopening of certain businesses over the next 2 weeks. However, land-based casinos, restaurants, hotels and concert halls will have to wait until June 8 to welcome visitors, who are becoming increasingly impatient. The date presented is tentative and based primarily on the developments related to the health crisis caused by Covid-19. The recent deconfinement observed in several Asian countries (notably in China and Japan) highlights many concerns regarding the announced reopening date in Switzerland.
The majority of players and professionals wonder about this particularly complex situation. Should we expect an extension of the closure of land-based casinos? Is it possible for some establishments to significantly reduce their workforce at the expense of the services offered? CasinosNews will stay informed with the latest developments in Switzerland in order to keep you updated with the most concrete and verified answers.