Due to the outbreak of the corona virus, numerous gambling businesses are encouraging customers to play online casinos as well as poker games in battling the reduction of revenue from canceling sports betting and other forms of gambling.
There are several important online poker news to note. Here are a few reports that we have tracked from all over the globe this March.
Stuck at home: Playtech says players spend time on online poker and bingo
Europeans stuck at home because of the coronavirus may not have any sports events to bet on, but they are playing more poker and bingo online to relieve the boredom, online gambling software provider Playtech said on Thursday.
The company, the world’s biggest supplier of technology for online gaming operators but now also a major gambling platform in its own right said it was taking a major hit from the halting of sports events across the world.
Like hundreds of other listed firms, it laid out a series of steps to reinforce company finances for the months ahead, worried by the impact on the economy and household finances of coronavirus shutdowns across the world.
On the bright side, the company said its trading platform and payment services business has benefited from the rise in market volatility and brought in a core profit of over 30 million euros so far in 2020.
Playtech’s Snaitech unit, Italy’s biggest sports betting firm, was already hurt by lockdown measures imposed in the country, worst hit by the crisis in Europe, and the company said on Thursday that had been worsened by the postponements of sports events.
The company warned in January that 2020 results would be below market expectations because of a major hit to its two largest markets, Asia and Italy, from the coronavirus.
UK & Ireland Online Poker Rankings: Leonard and Sweeney Lead
Patrick “pleno1” Leonard is the number one British online poker tournament player, according to the PocketFives. Com rankings. Leonard, a former world number one, has a 135-point advantage over Conor «1_conor_b_1» Beresford. Leonard is rapidly approaching $9 million in winnings, an impressive sum to say the least.
Phil “philroyal888” Mighall is another Brighton resident going great guns. Formerly ranked sixth in the world, Mighall is picking up the pace once again. A runner-up finishes in the PokerStars Hot $109 secured him a $4,282 prize. This was sandwiched between a pair of third-place finishes in $530 Daily Supersonic tournaments that saw Mighall reel in $5,840 and $8,909.
Ronan Sweeney With a Big lead in Ireland. That lead is likely to be extended when his victory in the $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep at 888poker is added to his profile.
James “Jaymo” Noonan is a high-volume player who currently occupies second-place in Ireland.
Noonan won more than $4,300 when he finished third in a $215 Saturday KO at PokerStars, and an additional $4,373 when he was the runner-up in Winamax’s GLADIATOR. He won the $215 Bounty Builder at PokerStars and the leaderboard points secured saw him climb to fourth in Ireland.
Gambling groups bring customers online as sports betting ends
Kenny Alexander, chief executive of GVC, which owns Ladbrokes Coral, said moving customers to casino games was “working reasonably well” and the company was “not closed for business” despite the postponement of nearly all major sporting competitions.
Gambling groups have stepped up television advertising of online casino games and some are encouraging customers to play them on social media.
“If, due to loans, the government owns most of the gambling industry it may not let it go back to the way it was”.
Mr. Waugh warned there was a risk of an increase in gambling-related disorders, and therefore further backlash against the industry, as people played for longer on online casino games while they were cooped up at home.
GVC, which made 45 percent of its £3.7bn revenues last year from sports, said the lack of fixtures would hit earnings by up to £150m this year — a figure that would increase by about £50m per month if the company’s high street betting shops had to close.
Grosvenor Poker Thrives During Coronavirus Crisis
With the UK on lockdown and casinos forced to closed, the company decided to make up for the loss with a new online schedule. After moving the event online, the final prize pool hit $51,214.
Grosvenor Poker’s online alternatives are set to continue until further notice. This means GUKPT main events will also take place online.
In some respects, the latest developments won’t pose too many problems for the GUKPT. Mini-main events have been held online already in 2020 as Grosvenor continues its push to attract more players.
Therefore, with regulars accustomed to seeing the GUKPT online, the recent changes should see the tour continue its recent highs.
Online poker, as a whole, is booming at the moment. With players forced to stay inside due to the coronavirus, PokerStars posted record numbers for its 14th Anniversary Sunday Million.
Although digitizing all live events wouldn’t make sense, the recent swell of interest does suggest there’s a market for more online/offline hybrids. With the right marketing, poker sites around the world could experience a glut of sign-ups in the coming months.
888 Holdings says a rise in online casino and poker may partially offset the loss of sports betting
Sports betting accounted for 16% of group revenue last year, though with customers remaining indoors it is seeing increased levels of activity for virtual gambling products.
888 Holdings Plc shares bumped 24% higher in Tuesday’s early deals after the online gambling company told investors that increased customer engagement with virtual casino and online poker products might partially compensate for the suspension of sporting events.
Whilst the online-only gambling firm said it has seen some offsetting activity for virtual or simulated events, like poker and casino games, it also cautioned over the impact that economic disruption may have.
A prolonged period of global macro-economic uncertainty may impact consumer spending on online gaming, the company acknowledged.
888 told investors that it had US$99.5mln of cash at the end of 2019.
It added: “As a purely online operator with diversified brands across product verticals and geographies, a strong balance sheet with US$99.5mln of cash and cash equivalents at the 2019-year end, and a proven track record of delivering operational efficiencies, the board is confident in 888’s ability to manage these challenges.”
Toilet Roll Poker Game Slammed, Coronavirus Critics Hit Back at Viral Video
The new coronavirus may be causing a boom for online poker operators, but one club in the UK has split opinion with its take on the crisis.
As shoppers in the UK and elsewhere fight for toilet paper, Eltham Terrance Club tried to make light of the situation.
UK newspaper, The Daily Mail, reposted the short clip on its Facebook page, but not everyone saw the funny side.
The parody was filmed before UK casinos closed their doors. However, several commenters found the joke to be in poor taste given the current situation.
“They think it’s funny. Wait until one of them got the virus. That’s the time no toilet paper can help you,” Ita Nizam commented.
As is often the case with comedy, some didn’t find the video funny. At the time of writing, the video has more than 4,600 views and almost as many positive responses as negative.
UKGC Cautions iGaming Operators To Not Exploit COVID-19 Pandemic For-Profits
The UK Gambling Commission has cautioned licensed online gambling firms to refrain from taking undue advantage of its customers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world.
The gambling regulator has instructed licensed operators to ensure that their customers are not straying too far from their normal behaviors. They were also warned to not take advantage of these new customers, especially in line with the disrupted economic fortunes of many in the UK due to work closures and suspensions.
Strong growth has already been reported for some online poker, casino, and bingo operations over the past few days. The UKGC wants iGaming operators to welcome new customers in a socially responsible way.
The growing concerns of COVID-19 finally got the better of the UK gambling market as the government ordered the closure of all casinos and betting shops for the next two weeks. Some gambling operators had earlier decided to shut down their operations to not expose their customers and staff to further risk.
Millions of UK citizens have been told not to come to work and there is a lot of concern regarding their financial well-being. UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a relief plan should bring them a sigh of relief and certain businesses will also benefit from this stimulus package. However, there is no such relief for retail betting shops and casinos.
What Will Happen To UK Online Casinos With A Betting Limit
UK online casinos already face many challenges but a fresh one could be coming soon. It has been claimed that a £2 betting limit should be introduced at UK online casinos to help people to stay in control of their gambling. When the Gambling Commission then suggested it would be willing to cut online casino game stakes to £2, gambling software company
Playtech and industry firms Flutter and 888 all saw their share prices fall by around the seven percent mark, writing off hundreds of millions of pounds in their company values.
The Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group has said there should be restrictions on VIP programs at UK online casinos, as well as blocking credit cards from being used to deposit into an account. The UK Gambling Commission has already limited the bonuses offered by UK online casinos. It is possible to argue that the industry is coming under attack in a big way right now. Many jobs are going to be lost at these companies as a result of closing down the shops.
The arrival of online casinos then also had a big impact, making it quicker and easier than ever before to place bets through the internet.
William Hill has long been seen as one of the success stories of the industry, but it failed to complete a deal, said to be worth as much as £3 billion, to merge with Rank and the 888 Group a few years ago. Instead of trying to grow further in the UK, it seems as though betting companies are instead focusing on new markets such as Asia – which is largely unregulated – and South America. The United States is also set to be a key market for betting companies in the coming months and years as changes to the law seem set to make online casinos more common in America. What is in store for online casinos in the UK if a £2 betting limit is brought in remains to be seen.