We have written before that as we come out of lockdown, more people get vaccinated, countries develop herd immunity, a boom in spending will fuel more gambling, as people start to congregate and enjoy themselves.
The UK has learned from its past mistakes. (By the way we should not be too judgmental on any government, this is a new virus, at the outset everyone thought it was going to be a mild flu, it most certainly is not. Anyone given the same set of circumstances would have made the same mistakes. At least they have learned from them.)
The roll out from lockdown in the UK has been slow, and most people have responded well. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants this to be the last lockdown, so is taking every precaution.
Casinos can open from 1 August 2021 in England, we are still waiting on Scotland and Wales. Betting shops, classed as non-essential retail, opened on 12 April.
It has been a grisly winter, the cold weather along with having to isolate has taken its toll. People like to socialize, and they want to be entertained. It is part of our DNA and without it people become despondent and depressed.
Much has been said about the boost given to Internet gambling over the period. Entain Group in its recent results showed that internet gambling was up 30%. There are those that think this a bad thing. It is not. It is entirely beneficial because to many the only entertainment has been watching Netflix, the football, and having a bet. Without that we would have all gone crazy with boredom.
One of the biggest budget items for most families is the foreign holiday. That looks a nonstarter this year. People will have money to spend. The casinos and betting shops will soon be back to where they were in 2019, if all goes to plan. It should do, more have been vaccinated, and infection rates always fall in the summer.
What could go wrong? On CNBC, Larry Fink, the CEO of Blackrock the largest fund manager, said the stock market will continue to rise, the principal risk in the market is the virus, if a new strain or a shortage of vaccine causes a resurgence. That is the principal risk to the economies throughout the world. He is right.
Globally, according to the WHO, COVID-19 cases have doubled in the last two months. While the UK and USA are doing well, the rest of the world is still struggling.
On the same show the Japanese Health Minister stated that arrivals of Pfizer and Moderna were coming for health workers. I was surprised how far behind they were, especially as the Olympics are this year. They are to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine in Japan, that way he said ‘we don’t have to deal with the EU.’
By Warwick Bartlett