Will Coronavirus Close Live Online Casinos?

Live dealer casinos feeling the crunch of COVID-19 closures.

Live Dealer Casinos Now Feeling the Crunch of COVID-19 Closures

When news of the Corona virus first erupted, none could conceive of the disruption it would soon cause to everyday existence; not just in our home towns, but on a global scale. When the phrase “social distancing” became a household term, everyone began looking for ways to conduct their daily activities online. That included entertainment verticals, of course.

Online gambling was thought to be a perfect solution for those who already enjoy the occasional casino rendezvous. However, most online casino games are RNG-based. They are computer generated, offering no source of social interaction. Live casinos, on the other hand, are virtual mirrors of the table games played at land-based casinos, where real people gather virtually, and communicate digitally, as they play.

This particular iGaming vertical has harvesting more players than ever before in the last week. Now, it looks like this form of virtual gambling entertainment may not be around much longer.

Live Dealer Casinos Feel the Crunch of COVID-19 Closures

On Monday, March 23, news came down the pipeline that Evolution Gaming, the world’s premier producer of live casino games, had been ordered by the Georgian government to cease operations at its live casino studio in Tbilisi, Georgia. This marked the first – and at present, only – known mandatory closure of a live gambling studio.

A statement from Evolution Gaming confirmed the situation:

The Tbilisi studio adheres to current guidelines regarding social distancing and the company has taken an extensive number of infection prevention measures in the studio. Evolution Gaming is in close contact with local authorities in order to verify the taken measures and to be able to reopen the studio. The situation is developing, and Evolution will adapt continuously.”

Evolution stated that the vast majority of its operation would continue, as the Tbilisi studio represented just one of its 8 live studios around the world. It was a message meant to reassure audiences, but one that was surely given with a foreboding grain of salt as it predicated a similar future for its remaining properties.

Latvian Gov. Considers Suspension of Gambling Licenses

Today, evidence of that impending future is coming to light, slowly but surely. Word has it that the Latvian government is considering suspending the licenses of all its gambling operators. No official announcement has yet been made. It’s only a consideration at this time, but one I’ve no doubt will come to fruition in the coming days.

Evolution Gaming has been headquartered in Riga, Latvia since the company’s founding in 2006. Its oldest and largest studio is located in Riga Old Town. If the Latvian government goes through with this proposed plan, it could spell a quick domino effect of closures for all of Evolution’s live dealer casinos.

Don’t mistake the meaning in this. It’s not just Evolution Gaming that would be effected by the COVID-19 related suspensions. Playtech, NetEnt, Microgaming, every live casino operator licensed from here to Malta could soon feel the crunch of Coronavirus closures.

If and when it does come to it, we here at RealMoneyGambling.ca support the effort to protect the health of live dealers and all other staff members at these operations who’ve worked so hard to give us this unique entertainment vertical. To you, we say thank you. Go home, stay inside, stay safe, and we look forward to your return when the strange days of this global pandemic come to an end.

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