The announcement of a new Covid variant has many governments worldwide concerned about another infection wave that could be worse than the preceding ones. Little is known about the Omicron variant, although scientists speculate it is more transmissible, and current vaccines might not offer people 100% protection.
The hospitality, travel, tourism, and gambling sectors expect to experience far-reaching ramifications from this new variant. Even if governments do not put lockdown restrictions into effect, many people will stay home instead of risking infection. However, online casinos are confident this will not affect them. Here is why:
Little or no effect on operations
Gambling at online casinos for real money means that players can engage in their favorite games without leaving home. Indeed, it was the only way many players could gamble during the initial stages of the Covid pandemic, as brick-and-mortar casinos shuttered their doors or ran partial operations. Online operators saw a surge in users during these months. Even once things returned to a semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy, thousands of players have remained online, finding it a more convenient way to enjoy some gambling entertainment.
As it stands, online casino operators are bracing themselves for increased demand for their services as players revert to the consumption patterns displayed in the first half of 2020. This includes ensuring they have sufficient capacity to accommodate an influx of new players.
While a trip to a casino can make travel fun, Covid has taught people that this is not always possible, and there are ways to work around it. States that legalized online casinos, such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, and West Virginia, saw their land-based operations lose money during the pandemic. However, online operators made up for that. Other states are determined to go this route as it provides gambling tax revenue despite challenging pandemic conditions, which look set to continue.
A chance to shine
As mentioned before, Covid has given online casino operators a chance to demonstrate the necessity of such platforms. As new Omicron updates emerge, more restrictions may follow, especially if this strain is as virulent and dangerous as predicted. Uncertainty still reigns supreme as Omicron is new, and scientists are frantically researching its potential effects.
Fortunately, the sports betting industry should not struggle much either, as many states have legalized online wagering. The most substantial risk here is that sporting events are canceled or postponed.