Covid-19: annual impact stabilises

21 May 2020

H2 Gambling Capital has downgraded its gross win forecast for the global gambling sector by just $1bn this week, taking the total decline below pre-outbreak expectations to 21.7%.

iGB’s principal data partner’s ‘best case’ expectation of gambling gross win is now $370.7bn, more than $100bn below the $472.6bn it was projecting before the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak began to impact the sector in February (see Chart 1 below).

H2 said week 16 of its tracking of the impact “marks the point in which our assessment of the likely impact on the sector’s 2020 global gross win starts to level out” as its main focus turns to mapping out venue reopenings and the restart of sporting events.

It however cautioned that this was the best-case scenario based on known closures, restrictions and re-openings, and that the second wave expected by many epidemiologists was not priced in, “as hopefully governments will have the tools to avoid another round of lockdowns even if one materialises.”

Online has increased its estimated share of 2020 gross win from 13.2% to 16.7% over the course of the pandemic, reflecting the relatively greater impact of movement restrictions on the land-based sector (Chart 6).

H2 said: “We continue to believe it will be difficult for operators to return to profit, let alone become ‘pandemic proof’ in the near-term, without regulated online gambling.”

From a regional perspective, Asia/Oceania is now on track to miss its pre-outbreak projection by 23.1%, Europe by 22.9% and North America by 18.6% (Charts 3, 4, 5).