Romania is known for its good gambling industry, with twenty high-class casinos spread throughout the country, offering slots, video poker, table games, and other popular casino games. However, the Covid-19 sets back Romanian gambling industry by five years, says the National Institute of Statistics or INS.
The gambling operators in Romania had experienced one of the most devastating declines of the last three decades when it got hit by the pandemic. The local gambling industry plunged by around 24% in March 2020. Its March revenue was only around half of February’s. Then, the gambling business showed almost zero revenue in April and May.
Effects of the pandemic
Because of the situation, Game World Romania, led by Attila “Otto” Török, has prioritized the customers’ and employees’ safety. They have also prioritized the long-term business principles and have organized their activity, allowing them to adapt as fast as possible to the various changes that happened during the pandemic.
For instance, they have tried different operating hours in the hopes of returning to their 24/7 operation as soonest as possible. During that time, they have constantly been communicating with their employees and clients. They also maintain good communication with the authorities and professional associations for precise information on the newest innovations about gambling halls.
Based on the National Gambling Office’s data, the Romanian market has 250 active gambling operators. Each year, these operators contribute around EUR 600 million to the state budget. When 2020 began, the local gambling industry had around 45,000 direct employees. Moreover, a thousand others work independent and related fields.
“According to Romslot data, for each RON the Romanian gambling industry generates, the upstream and downstream industries – HoReCa, IT&C, security – generate another 5 RON,” Török said.
He also said that Game World has around 400 employees, and the parent groups have around 2000 workforce.
When it comes to the biggest challenges the Romanian gambling industry has faced, it is the challenges of the CoVID-19 pandemic. All gambling operators have implemented all the safety measures required by the law to keep the virus from spreading.
Among the safety measures are the following:
- Gambling tables and machines should be 1.5 meters apart, or barriers must be installed.
- The maximum number of players inside is one person for every four square meters.
- Players and employees must undergo temperature screening. Those who will exceed 37.3 degrees Celsius, having difficulties in breathing, severe cough, an altered state, or fatigue are not allowed to enter the site.
- Players must wear a face mask while inside the location.
Reshaping the future of the gambling industry
The gambling industry is adopting the latest innovation in technology, such as augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain both in Romania and globally. With this in mind, it is clear that technology plays a vital role in reshaping the gambling experience.
The pandemic has brought opportunities to the market. This is especially true for online casinos, which are doing very well regardless of the situation. On the other hand, land-based casinos continue to struggle.
“For offline operators, the current situation is an exercise to adapt to the most difficult and unpredictable conditions,” says Török.
“Technology is one of the engines of this sector and the dynamic of the last few years has proven it. The industry experienced significant growth with each year that passed and the changes we will witness by 2030 will certainly be more impactful than those that have occurred since 2010,” Török adds.
Török also points out that utilizing blockchain, AR, VR, AI, and other technological innovations in all aspects of the business, from transaction security, to gambling experience and client communication, are the future of the gambling industry.