Gambling Companies Are Moving into the Virtual World
Gambling has come a long way since those pully machines and two cavemen would bet on a spider running up a wall (the latter might not be true). The gradual development of gambling services has led to the online world and online gambling, which has a known-on effect on high-street property.
But why are more gambling businesses moving online and focusing on their virtual services – and what are the repercussions for the commercial property market?
Why Gambling Companies Are Moving Online and Virtual
There was already a growing trend of gambling companies focusing on their online presence and services. More online casinos and online sports betting were being created to accommodate a demand for these convenient services. We no longer had to jump in the car or put on our best suit to enjoy poker, roulette and other casino games.
But the events of 2020 have forced gambling companies to solely focus on their remote services to maintain profits. One example can be found by looking at the plan for one of the world’s most prominent gambling groups, Entain – formerly known as GVC Holdings. In the UK, the Entain Group is moving away from its 3000 licensed betting shops (LBOs) to follow the successes of its leading casino brand, PartyCasino.
If Entain decides to close a large portion of their physical betting shops to invest in online gambling products, this will leave a big hole in the British high street.
How Will This Affect the Property Market?
Most gambling stores are either located in the main high-street or in parts of town where people have a lower income. The same is true about fast food stores.
This means some of the commercial spaces left by disappearing betting shops will have mixed value. The prime locations in city centres and on high streets will become available at a premium. Due to the ongoing state of the economy, these may be difficult to lease to new and existing businesses with few people trying to expand in the current climate.
The empty stores in more impoverished neighbourhoods and estates may just be as challenging to lease or sell, as a result of their less lucrative location for businesses. They may have to become residential properties in these places.
It could be one opportunity for the property owners, especially when first-time buyers are not as interested in city living.
Gambling Company Investments of 2021
Online gambling businesses face fierce competition to win over their slice of the market. Therefore, investing in their online products and services is paramount to success. The most common investments are made in:
- Casino games from the best developers
- New live casino games which are streamed from a studio or casino floor
- New casino games never seen before with a gameshow type host
- Improved online security against hackers
- Cloud casino gaming
And one of the most significant ongoing online investments is in Virtual Reality. If casinos can provide some type of virtual reality casino experience, it would bring gambling at home almost on par with visiting the casinos on the Vegas strip for real.