This year (2020) has been a bad year for most business industries around the world. The pandemic has made it very difficult for some markets, while others have been brought to ruin.
The land-based gambling industry has taken a big knock. For months, establishments have been closed and revenues have been lost. Finally, casinos in Australia have been allowed to operate under restricted provisos, but even this hasn’t been enough to buffer the market’s latest knock.
Melbourne Crown Casino has postponed the up-and-coming Aussie Millions Poker Tournament, much to the dismay of poker punters around the country.
A Gap Year in the Legacy
Originally known as the Australasian Poker Championship, the event has been an annual staple since 1998 and is revered as the biggest tournament of its type in the region.
The announcement was made on Melbourne Crown Casino’s website, citing safety concerns as the main proponent for putting off the competition. Even under the current allowances from the government, the casino may only host 100 patrons at a time, which when compared to the hundreds of players that partake in the tournament, is not sufficient enough.
It is not yet known whether the event may still take place later next year or have to carry over to 2022. Crown’s official statement read:
“Crown will continue to monitor and review the situation, working closely with the Victorian Government and health authorities to determine if and when such events can be safely revisited”
While many other markets have moved their prominent poker events online for 2020, Australian tournaments are not at liberty to do so on a commercial level, as online gambling is legally prohibited in the country.
Online Trends on the Up and Up
Lockdown laws and global social distancing protocols have forced people into their homes. That together with the banning of public sporting events early this year, seems to have pushed sports betters to dabble in a little bit of online casino entertainment.
Online poker rooms across the United States boasted extremely high revenues over the past few months, as a result. Now that sports have opened again, punters have returned to betting, but the casino industry has managed to keep some of its new fans.
Despite laws regarding remote operators, casinos and online poker rooms continue to open their doors to Aussie players from as far afield as Europe and South America. These establishments are licensed offshore and provide a full range of enjoyable gaming options, making them hard to resist for gamblers in the country.
Back to the Drawing Board
It’s at times like this when most businesses can appreciate the presence of a digital footprint. It is mostly online businesses that have managed to traverse this year with the least amount of fallout. Unfortunately, for land-based casinos in OZ, this hasn’t been an option.
Perhaps the Aussie government should relook the online gambling legislation in the country, as it becomes more and more apparent that tremendous revenues are being lost online to casinos that Aussies are playing at despite the law.