There was a time when working in the world of gambling may not have been the most attractive choice, but things changed. While online betting sites like netticasino have boomed, the world of casinos has always had a certain glamor. Which became even more attractive over time as Hollywood movies incorporated the resorts of Las Vegas into their stories.
The movies depicted the Mafia, big-time gamblers, heists, and heavyweight title belts, as well as the big wins, and the glitz of the casinos. For visitors, there has always been a certain allure. The city attracts more tourists than the whole of Thailand put together.
However, things have changed. Where Sin City, or The Meadows, used to have over 40 million visitors a year, Covid made some changes. Last year saw less than half the normal amount of tourists or visitors arrive in Las Vegas, and the strip became like a ghost town.
The city is built around tourism and the casino industry, so when the lockdowns were enforced, many thousands left. Suddenly, there was no one to support the businesses that are located there anymore.
How has the pandemic affected the gambling industry?
The virus swooped in last year and managed to put almost every industry on hold, or at least disrupt it. Some markets such as food and essential retail benefited slightly from panic buying, but many others lost revenue.
Many businesses that were already internet-based could not only weather the storm but even benefit from it. Streaming services, food delivery, and online retail all did well. Companies such as Amazon and Disney found new customers and profited from the virus.
More people than ever sought out online games and looked for a casino to play slots and poker in. This was due to the traditional establishments being shut down. High street bookmakers in the UK, casinos in Vegas, and Sun City in South Africa were all made to close their doors.
In the UK, it was bingo halls and bookmakers that were primarily hit. Sportsbooks in the United Kingdom are based in high streets and are a popular venue for fans of football and horse racing. Although bingo has been in decline in some ways for many years, Covid almost sounded a death knell for it with hundreds of job losses announced.
Is there still life in the traditional gambling industry?
When it comes to the traditional gambling venues, time will tell to a degree, but there are still positive signs.
When you look at Las Vegas now, there are reports that casino revenue is at an all-time high. There is even a new casino, the first the city has seen in at least ten years.
Online gambling took a big hold on the overall industry during 2020. As people were required to stay indoors, and travel was restricted, they looked for other entertainment opportunities.
The internet granted this in abundance. From streaming movies to video games, to online gaming. People were able to play on sites at any time of the day or night, at their convenience. New and more seasoned players realized there was not as much need to visit land-based establishments as they thought.
This doesn’t mean that traditional gambling and gaming venues are through though.
Where does the casino industry go now?
Because of the pandemic, many people are just trying to stay calm and cope with isolation, others would like normality to resume. Many people would still like to visit land-based venues, and many others would like to have careers there too.
It is these types of people that will help to keep the industry alive, along with some fundamental changes.
Firstly, many people appreciate the benefits of online gaming, but they still enjoy human interaction. For some, visiting a bookmaker or a casino is not just about gambling, it is about being sociable and catching up with friends.
Secondly, the gaming industry offers many opportunities, and in a world where unemployment rose dramatically in 2020, that is pretty attractive, to say the least.
Casinos can also push forwards by offering more experiential visits and making themselves more of a destination. While Vegas is already a place for tourists, with cabarets, restaurants, and casinos, other venues are more restricted. Casinos and gaming halls may need to up their, umm, game, so to speak.
Is there a career opportunity in the gaming industry still?
When it comes to working in the gaming world, people may need to expand their options for the future. The gaming industry has fans in the players, the people who enjoy it vicariously, and those who want to run the games.
Some people are just out to maximize profits in the casino, whereas others are thinking a little deeper. Some of the roles in a casino or a sportsbook are not highly paid, but a casino pit boss can pull in a far higher salary.
These days, it may be worth looking at the online world too. Bingo halls and sportsbooks have moved very much online, and it isn’t certain if those players will head back to traditional venues.
In the case of bingo halls, there may not even be any venues to return to. The game has been going out of fashion for some time until the internet took hold. Now, new generations have logged in and started playing.
This leads to a partial conclusion, that careers in gaming may be best sought out online. A wannabe croupier can still find their role in a live casino, anyone interested in a customer-facing role can look for similar roles online, and there are options for game designers too.
The casino and gambling industry as a whole is not going away anytime soon. The more that sports betting laws and other regulations get relaxed, the more the industry will expand.
Perhaps the biggest change will be that there will be less opportunity in traditional venues, but more online. Anyone interested in a career in gaming may have to think outside of the traditional box, and look towards the internet, as so many other industries are doing.