After months of disruptions and uncertainty caused by the first wave of global lockdowns, the gambling industry was able to take some time to breathe a little easier.
But with the looming threat of further lockdowns now a bitter reality, it’s become apparent that we cannot take our feet off the pedals and become complacent.
During the first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns, gambling companies were able to endure the closure of their retail estates due to a financial cushion. It allowed them to pay wages, taxes, and other expenses despite the lack of profits, albeit only on a temporary basis.
But with cash reserves dwindling fast and tighter restrictions already in force, what happens next depends solely upon business owners’ skill of strategic planning, as well as their preparedness for innovations. So in a world currently filled with uncertainty, what can we do?
Expect the unexpected
According to Alexandra Kalchuk, Head of Business Development at BetInvest, the best thing that the betting industry can do during these second wave of lockdowns is to remain adaptable and prepared for the unexpected.
What became apparent during these first few months of the pandemic, however, was that companies which were highly dependent upon land-based points of sales, and were unable to adapt their offering to the situation, were forced to wait for the economy to stabilise. As a result, they bore the brunt.
People may think that the entertainment industry would not be an exception to the swathes of industries struggling to make ends meet, explained Kalchuk, but they would be wrong due to the highly adaptable nature of gambling.
“Indeed, online casinos and betting websites that offered alternative betting options saw growth in profits throughout the past nine months,” she explained. “The reason for that was a lack of activity people felt during long standing house isolation.
“What matters most is that online gambling reached its peak popularity at the beginning of the year, and, based on the forecasts, the same is about to happen in the fourth quarter of 2020.”
So how can companies be better prepared for this second wave? Firstly, it is essential to transfer your business online. Kalchuk pointed towards ready-made software solutions from BetInvest as a means of giving complete control over an online business due to the toolsets explicitly created for casinos and betting platforms.
By choosing between turnkey and white label platforms, online betting can become a key focus for those traditionally focused on a retail offering.
The key challenge here, said Kalchuk, is to make all arrangements in time because the first bells of the storm can already be heard all around the world. In the UK, Spain, Germany, France, and many other countries quarantine measures are already reinforced, with no relaxations expected before Spring 2021.
The fact that gambling companies may be considered to be one of the most financially stable industries was previously unthinkable – and is also something which appears to have caught the interest of ‘business sharks’.
All in all, gambling companies’ stocks have demonstrated stable growth since the beginning of the pandemic, skyrocketing at up to 300% at times. More recently, gambling companies saw something similar to a ‘second coming’ in terms of rapid growth, with rates surpassing those recorded during the first lockdown.
“In hindsight, such a strong interest towards gambling and its direct connection to lockdowns is a guarantee of the industry’s well-being for the foreseeable future,” added the BetInvest Head of Business Development.
“Currently, a perfect opportunity to sell your company’s stocks is created. With the lockdown staying for an unspecified period of time, it is better to have a financial pillow prepared for a widely anticipated crisis. Even if the industry itself has the highest probability of survival during these volatile times, no economist can forecast how the tables will turn on another day.”
Seize the opportunity to hire new staff
With numerous businesses forced to close their doors for good, unemployment records have hit an all-time high this year. Such unprecedented pressures placed on the job market is one of the greatest challenges that we face, but could this be of benefit?
Suggesting that unemployment could be beneficial to anyone may seem somewhat far-fetched, but for those companies looking to expand their work-force and gain valuable insight from highly-qualified specialists from different sectors are staring at an abundance of individuals with the necessary skills to support them in their endeavours.
Bringing in fresh talent may offer fresh perspectives on the way a business works which may have otherwise been overlooked – a benefit in the long-term for both parties.
Kalchuk concluded: “Overall, preparedness is key to mitigating any new challenges which may arise as a result of these new measures sweeping Europe and the wider world. Overcoming these challenges, BetInvest hopes that by drawing upon lessons learned from the first wave of lockdowns, the betting and gaming industry will be able to continue operating from a clearer vantage point.”