With the recent woes of land-based casino operators on casino reopenings, the leisure and gambling industry is certainly facing a problem. Even long-running names in the industry are not immune to this. Given the situation, Buzz Bingo will undergo a massive restructuring process in response to the massive business disruption brought about by Covid-19. The popular bingo brand is to retire twenty-six of its outlets in an effort to stay afloat in the current business climate. It has announced that only twelve clubs would be opening by August 6, 2020. The main goal of this restructuring is to ensure the company’s future as it will focus on the operations of the twelve clubs.
On March 21st many businesses were forced to close down. This was in line with Government procedures to help curb the pandemic’s spread. Like with most businesses, Buzz was forced to closed its chain of clubs. This closure and lack of retail business has severely impacted the company prompting it to close some of its shops permanently.
In an update on the Buzz Bingo’s group website, chief executive officer, Chris Mathews detailed the unfortunate events as he said that the company could have never expected the outcome when the company closed its doors in March, but the coronavirus crises is a completely one-off event. Mathews also detailed the full list of closures and this includes Chatham, Salford, Salisbury, Antelope Park, Banbury, Boston, Bournemouth, Bridlington, Carlisle, Chorley, Cramlington, Derby Foresters, Edinburgh Westerhailes, Harpurhey, among others.
Despite this news, the operator’s online bingo site is continually operating, offering a variety of casino slots and bingo games.
Buzz Bingo isn’t the only operator that is having a hard time with closures as other retail and land-based gambling businesses are having a rough time as well. Genting UK is also a casualty as it has also announced a mass of redundancies due to the lack of retail business in forty-two of its land-based casinos.
American operators are also impacted heavily by the recent pandemic as a major player in the land-based casino industry, Boyd Gaming, has also announced layoffs, about 25%-60% of its workforce.
Despite this downtrend in the casino industry, online casinos have picked up the slack. Online casinos are showing promising growth as providers are seeing record revenue numbers since the start of the pandemic. One example is the Stars Group. The company is a Canada-based online casino provider who recently merged with Flutter Entertainment. During the pandemic, it saw a 44% YOY increase in international revenues.
Also, further numbers can be extrapolated from relatively new sources such as New Jersey, a relatively new gambling state in the USA. The state has recently released gambling data through the regulator, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. This data was released on July 14, 2020, and it details the total gaming revenue results of June 2020. The figures show that there is a general decline in land-based casino revenues, about 65% loss of revenue year to date. On the other hand, despite this massive loss, internet gaming revenue is hitting nearly £64.65m/$84.9m for June, a 123.1% rise over the same month last year. In terms of period comparison, internet gaming has increased by 94.4% to £321.52m / $422.7m from £165.40m / 217.45m when compared to the prior period (January to June 2019).