H2 revises global gambling forecasts following COVID-19 Asia outbreak

Global gambling intelligence firm H2 Capital has published industry guidance on potential COVID-19 (Coronavirus) impacts, a subject matter dominating all business narratives.

As the total number of worldwide Coronavirus cases hits the 90,000 mark, H2 explained that the outbreak has already had a major impact on many of the world’s largest gambling markets.

Based on current outbreak data, the analyst has revised its 2020 global gambling forecasts, anticipating the value of the market to fall by 8% for only the second time in the last 20 years.  

In its analysis, H2 points to Coronavirus’ significant impact on Macau’s casino market, which this February reported an 88% decline in gross win to MOP 3.10 billion.

Beyond Macau, the outbreak has forced H2 to revise its outlook on the Asian markets of Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.

Furthermore, H2 noted the spread of the virus throughout Italy, in which national health agencies have confirmed 1,000 victims of the virus, and 34 casualties this February.

For 2020, the firm’s analysis puts forward a ‘best case scenario’ of global gambling gross win to fall by a minimum of 1% year-on-year to circa $452 billion.

The figure would represent approximately a 5% decline in H2’s ‘pre-COVID-19’ forecasts which previously tracked at circa $475 billion for 2020.

Comparing Coronavirus to the 2002/03 SARS outbreak in China, H2 stated that contrasts do not hold anywhere near the impact on the global gambling industry as China’s total gross win of $9 billion at the time only represented just 3.5% of the global market.

In its analysis, H2 warned business leaders that ‘latest forecasts do not include downgrades in other regions bar Asia’, a dynamic that could wipe out a further 3% off the total value of the global gambling sector to between $430-440 billion. 

This March, sport’s various governing bodies are reported to be revising contingency plans related to Coronavirus impacts, a factor which may see sporting schedules significantly disrupted.