Latest figures show that Australians are more likely to enjoy a flutter than ever before. However, many are altering the way in which they gain their gambling thrills.
Spending On Gambling Rises
AlphaBeta and leading credit bureau illion have released a report, showing how Australians are spending their hard-earned cash.
Figures, up to the week to August 23rd 2020, show that Australians’ spending on food deliveries has risen by an unbelievable 277 per cent. The figures are based against an average week.
The next highest spending rise was in online gambling. Australians increased their spending by 94 per cent above average.
However, things might not be quite how they seem.
An AlphaBeta spokesperson explained the numbers to the Daily Mail Australia.
“There has been a channel shift from people spending cash on pokies to online gambling.” said the spokesperson.
‘So that means gambling rates might not be up, but it appears that way because (we) can track it when it’s online – we can’t track cash spent (offline) on pokies.’
So, has it?
Traditional Casinos Are Suffering
Sadly, for traditional casinos, they are certainly finding the first statement to be true.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the traditional casinos hard. This is unsurprising, considering how Australia went into lockdown in mid-March. Hence, millions of Australians were forced to stay at home.
Plus, the new laws left casinos unable to open until June.
Many people, deprived of their regular trips to the bricks and mortar gaming establishments, suddenly switched to online gambling.
The question is: will they return, now that the casinos are re-opening?
Weathering the Storm
Certainly, traditional casino operators are hopeful of seeing a return of their clients. Early indications show that they will.
Australia’s Star Entertainment Group is one company hit by the pandemic.
Their 12-month accounts to 30th June 2020, showed a loss of $95 million (AUD).
The Star – which owns casinos across Australia – saw a dramatic decline in its VIP program turnover. The numbers in July 2020 fell to just 5% of their July 2019 figures.
Different lockdown rules apply across the various Australian states. However, many of the country’s casinos are now operating. Since their re-opening, gaming revenue at the Star Group’s casinos is around 80% of their usual figures.
The Star Group is not the only casino operator who is suffering.
Another badly hit, is Australian lotteries and gaming operator Tabcorp. In mid-August, they announced plans to raise $600m (AUD) via a discounted issue of new shares to existing shareholders.
So, what does the future hold for Australian gaming operators? In truth, if they can weather the storm, then there is sufficient variation in products for gamblers to enjoy both offline and online play.