Australian bookmakers and casinos face a torrid time as the COVID-19 outbreak causes mass postponements.
Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment recently posted poor trading figures. A lack of Chinese VIP spend was at the forefront of the blame. Chinese VIPs make up a large percentage of Australian casinos’ turnover because they spend billions of dollars.
China is preventing those VIPs from leaving the country in the wake of the COVID-19 virus. Others are simply choosing to stay at home.
COVID-19 Cited For Various Poker Tournament Postponements
Dozens of major poker tournaments around the world are no longer taking place. Some smaller tours have cancelled events completely, with major tours postponing theirs indefinitely.
The World Poker Tour postponed several of its scheduled festivals, casting doubt on the upcoming Australian legs.
WPT Vietnam is cancelled with WPT Taiwan postponed indefinitely. There are also cancellations of some of the WPT’s planned DeepStacks events in the United States.
Only yesterday, the WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam was cancelled. Poker players were battling it out on Day 1A when they were told to leave the casino. The Dutch government banned gatherings of more than 500 people, forcing the casino to close its doors.
Star Gold Coast is preparing to host the WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast festival from April 30th. There are concerns this is another event COVID-19 claims as a victim.
Doubt remain over whether the 2020 World Series of Poker will run in Las Vegas. WSOP’s management team confirmed they are monitoring the COVID-19 situation, but believe its schedule will run. They made those comment before President Trump banned travellers from all countries, except the United Kingdom, from entering the United States.
Major Sporting Events Postponed in the Light of COVID-19
Casinos are feeling the pinch but bookmakers will fare even worse thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Formula 1 bosses postponed the Australian Grand Prix which should have ran on March 15th. This is just one of many major sporting events postponed or cancelled for the next few months.
Bookmakers take hundreds of millions of dollars worth of wagers over the course of a season. The start of the season is particularly lucrative for bookie because punters bet on season-long markets.
Postponing those events is bad enough but the Premier League and English Football League dealt bookies a hammer blow. All football activity in the United Kingdom is postponed. The Premier League is the biggest football league in the world and one bet on by people around the planet.
Postponements have happened because several Premier League players have tested positive for COVID-19.
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. As is Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Others self-isolating include Benjamin Mendy of Manchester City.
There is no English or Scottish football matches until at least April 3rd. The games should be rearranged, but this is unprecedented so nobody knows 100%.
Events in Australia Feel The Brunt Of The Outbreak
Several Australian events are no more as organisers fear the COVID-19 virus.
The virus has resulted in the cancellation of Robbie William’s planned Melbourne concert. The cancellation comes on the back of Prime Minister Scott Morrison banning public gatherings.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Skyfire Festival, and Download Festival have also cancelled thanks to COVID-19.
Tough Times Ahead For Bookmakers
Postponing sporting events is already hurting bookmakers’ bottom line but matters are about to get worse. Talks are underway that look likely to ban the use of credit cards for gambling purposes.
Ladbrokes Australia’s chief executive Dean Shannon claims a ban will reduce turnover by 30%. Another anonymous bookmaker stated approximately 80% of its customers use credit cards to fund their accounts.