A Highly Contagious Disease That Kills
Covid19, the abbreviation of Coronavirus Disease 2019, has brought disastrous impact to the entire globe. No matter where you are at, what do you do, you must be impacted by this global pandemic to some certain extents.
But, why is everybody so afraid of Covid19? Isn’t it just some kind of flu like H1N1, which was defeated by our advancement in science like years ago?
If you haven’t read anything about the disease yet, I strongly suggest you to do so. Some people might say Covid19 is the biggest scam ever that is plotted by the world government. The fact is, IT KILLS.
Global daily deaths stood at a whopping 10,161 as of 11 November 2020. On average, 7 people die every minute. That’s serious man.
Covid19 in Malaysia
In Malaysia, we are fortunate enough not experiencing scenario as bad as other countries in the west for the first half of 2020. Nevertheless, the situation has changed since October. The local number of cases has been on the rise. The number of total cases even hit 40,000 recently.
As said by our beloved Director General of Health – Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah, the only way to curb Covid19 (before the invention of an effective vaccine) is to stay home. What does that even mean to the local commercial activities?
All Industries Are Affected by the Pandemic
In Malaysia, I would say most industries have been affected by the pandemic since the beginning of 2020. Aviation and tourism businesses are heavily impacted due to reduction in tourist arrival. Hotels are not in demand, while many of the hotels even temporarily shut down operation to cut cost.
Food and beverage industry has been facing with sharp decrease in their sales, as many people tend to cook at home amid deterioration in the pandemic. Government policies such as MCO, CMCO, EMCO, have also significantly worsened the situation.
Manufacturing and industrial sectors have been facing challenges as well. Dramatic drop in order accompanied with restriction in operational matters are the major issues everyone is dealing now.
The local land casino businesses are in hard times too. Genting, the sole operator of casino business in Malaysia, has registered major drop in its share price in 2020. To cope with hefty expenses as well as sudden drop in its visitors to casino, Genting has come out with series of restructuring efforts in order to save its business.
Besides, Genting Berhad’s share price has also dropped significantly given the pandemic. Its share price clearly reflects the uncertainty ahead as path to recovery is still unpredictable.
Save for the above, what are the impacts from Covid19 on the local online casino industry? Let us look at it in details.
Covid19 Boosting Online Casino Industry
The pandemic has undoubtedly boosted the Malaysian online casino industry in 2020. As aforementioned, there is a huge drop in the number of visitors to Genting. Well, where do you think all these gamblers go? They have probably migrated online.
Significant Increase in New Player and Active Player
As you can see from the graph above, the number of new players in the Malaysian online casino market has increased ten folds, from 23,553 in January 2020, to 250,384 in October 2020. This is largely attributed to the effect brought by the global pandemic.
Meanwhile, the number of active players has also more than doubled from 4,559,321 in January 2020, to 10,235,241 in October 2020, which accounts for nearly one third of Malaysian population.
The local government has been encouraging people to stay home, to prevent themselves from diagnosing Covid19. Moreover, the government has also introduced CMCO that encourages most employees to work from home.
Such policies have granted people with more leisure time, as they do not have to travel to work. At the same time, people have also found it difficult to focus on works all the time because there is just too many distractions at home, including online gambling.
Online Casino Market is Growing at the Cost of Genting
The Malaysian online casino industry has long existed since many years ago. Nonetheless, we have not seen the industry flourishes at such a fast pace since the beginning. It is the Covid19 that offers such a golden opportunity to the industry.
However, this comes with a huge cost. More players have migrated from a land-based casino such as Genting, to online gambling. This adds more challenges to Genting’s already-hefty-financial-burden. Many doubt that Genting will be able to recover to its previous level before the pandemic.
This is why Covid19 is firmly viewed as the game changer for the Malaysian online casino industry. It has somehow forced the local players to relearn the way they gamble. It’s not necessary for you to travel miles just to visit a land-based casino. It could be anywhere, anytime, as long as you have found your trusted online casino agent.
2020 is said to be the most wonderful year for the local online casino market. We foresee the trend will continue to persist even without the presence of pandemic years after. Everyone now acknowledges the importance of online gambling.
The Usage of Test ID is on the Rise
Another interesting phenomena is that more players have participated in playing slot games through the use of Test ID. This is especially obvious in MEGA888 Test ID. We had previously covered the topic. You can read here more about the MEGA888 Test ID.
As you can see from the diagram, it’s hard to not notice the obvious upstick in the usage of MEGA888’s Test ID since March 2020. The same trend happens in most of the mobile slot game brands in Malaysia.
The phenomena can be explained by the fact that people are getting used to killing time with playing mobile slot games. Not all people can afford betting with hundreds or even thousands of real money. As a result, they play with Test IDs as a form of entertainment.
It seems to be just a normal thing going on out there. But it’s not the case. It has implied a rising acceptance from Malaysian towards the online gambling behaviour. This really helps to boost the market.
Who are the Real Beneficiaries from the Pandemic
As we mentioned above, the local online casino industry has tasted the sweeteners arising from the global pandemic. Well, who exactly has benefited from that?
The local mobile slot game brands have largely benefited from the global pandemic, especially MEGA888, 918KISS, XE88, and PUSSY888. These slot game products are easy to play, which are very friendly to new players.
Whenever there is a Facebook advertisement promoting any of the above slot games, I can see thousands of comments below, implying extraordinarily high customer engagement rate.
Today, many of the local gamblers are not really into live casino games anymore. They prefer to play mobile slot games. Things have changed greatly. Slot games are easier to be understood, while you can always stand a chance to win big with RM0.01 spin.
A Major Shift from Offline to Online
I would say most of the online casino operators saw their number of active players increased significantly during lockdown. Undoubtedly, this is considered a major shift from land-based casino to online casino.
How about illegal gambling dens (also known as “Kedai Mesin”) in the country? The industry has been on downtrend. More players are getting themselves familiar with online portal. So, their target customer group is totally different. Maybe those without online banking facilities, who prefer cash trade, would still go to illegal gambling dens.
Nevertheless, we believe Covid19 has made a lot of people understand the importance of “going online”. Just as you can see out there, more and more people are making use of e-wallet as a payment method, while cash payment seems like becoming past tense.
Therefore, we predict that the number of players will continue to grow steadily thanks to the global pandemic. As part of the community, it’s hard for us not to pay attention to the new trend.