In early November, Maritn Storm, CEO of BMM Testlabs, expressed his opinion regarding the development of land-based gambling establishments. According to the expert, amusement arcades will be able to return to their former level of popularity, having overcome the difficulties associated with COVID-19. The offline establishments will withstand the struggle with online casino sites, where the majority of casino fans went to when the pandemic began.

Why did land-based gambling establishments close? Players left for online ones

In his interview to the gambling news site, YOGONET, Martin Storm highlighted the phenomenon of the growing popularity of online casino sites and the problems that land-based casinos had been having for the last 2 years.

The pandemic resulted in some restrictions in the land-based gambling industry. Below you can see a table showing some of the most famous cases when land-based casinos were closed for an unlimited period.

The casinos that were closed in Australia:

Star Entertainment’s Star Sydney. Star Entertainment had to close its casinos in June for the entire period of lockdown. The newsletter, ice365 reported that the casino was reopened its doors in October to staff and guests who are fully vaccinated.

Crown Resorts’ Crown Sydney casino. The place has been closed since the late June. According to iGB , restrictions were also imposed across other regions too.

Crown’s interim Chairman, Jane Halton, said: “2021 has been a challenging year for Crown, with intense regulatory scrutiny and unprecedented impacts on business operations from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Due to the pandemic, casino operators had to cut costs and wait it out. Product sales and service opportunities for traditional manufacturers and suppliers paused, also making them cut costs and carefully select short-term growth projects.

Theoretical casino revenue across the country was down up to 60% .

Gambling Business Statistics in Australia in 2021

Martin Storm, CEO of BMM, considers that the land-based gambling business will have recovered by the mid-2022 . BMM Testlabs is the most experienced private independent gaming test lab on the Globe.

Storm takes Las Vegas as a leading indicator for growing offline gaming activity:

  • eight consecutive record months of gaming activity brought over 20% revenue rise compared to 2019;
  • The period from March to August was six highest-grossing gaming months in the U.S.

Despite the problems that land-based gambling establishments have, Australians still enjoy casino entertainment. According to current statistic data , many Australians play pokie machines and other games. You can see more detailed information in the table provided by Take a Tumble.


  • The number of Australians that gamble: Somewhere 50% of population
  • The number of full-service casinos across the country: 20
  • Australians bet on sport in 2020: A$21 million
  • The average Aussie gambles away: A$1,260 a year
  • The country’s average annual gambling income: About A$5 billion a year
  • Due to the COVID-19, the proportion of online gamblers has grown: to 78%
  • In Australia there are: 18% of all gaming machines in the world
  • The number of pokie machines: 200,000; one per 100 adults
  • The number of Aussies who play pokies: 2,4 million
  • Australians start gambling before they are 18: 16%

Covid 19 vaccination to open land-based casinos for players

Coronavirus had a serious impact on the land-based gambling business. The casinos had to cut costs, reduce the number of customers and in the end, close their doors. Martin Storm explained in the interview how they coped with the difficult period for the lab:

  • careful planning,
  • discipline,
  • more specific projects,
  • lower games volumes.

However, Storm is sure that the land-based industry is going to snap back. He considers vaccination to be the way out. He says: “With an increasing rate of COVID vaccinations, I sense 2022 might be the time when we begin to see more regular CAPEX from operators driving the industry supply chain once again.”

At the point over 4.28 billion people worldwide have received a Covid-19 vaccine, that is equal to about 55.8 % of the world population. The growing rate of vaccinations will surely allow returning players to physical casinos.

The first indicators to land-based gambling recovery in the USA:

  • a 20% rise in revenue for the last 8 months,
  • 19 of 25 commercial gaming states show the rise of casino popularity

Therefore, the expert expects that “mid-2022 as the period when the land-based industry gets back on track, all the way down the value chain.”

The company employs more staff these days than they did prior to the pandemic. They continue to grow.

Australian Government requires that offline casinos follow certain rules when open :

  • capacity limits at each venue,
  • density limits,
  • deactivation of every second electronic gaming machine and electronic table game,
  • limits on the number of players at a traditional table game,
  • minimum separation between tables,
  • mask wearing.

Martin Storm: online gambling business can coexist with land-based one

When physical casinos closed because of the lockdown, the number of players at online gambling establishments had grown enormously. Martin Storm noted that iGaming market “has reached all-time highs in terms of the number of suppliers to engage, the number of products to certify, and new markets opening.”

The labs have been doing well for the last two years in Europe and North America. The opening of the North American gaming market has changed preferences in favor of world testlab capabilities with quick market access to North America.

BMM with its 40 years of experience in testing gaming product to land-based gambling establishments could manage to get through the pandemic and become even stronger. Now the company offers gaming testing and certification services to

  • sports betting;
  • online casinos;
  • games testing;
  • lottery services;
  • cybersecurity services;
  • casino management systems and more.

BMM online business in Europe has grown 1000% for the last 5 years, and 300% in America. Big operators start to make deals with or invest in Sports Betting to create a unique product. Storm says: “now we know that most operators don’t view online business as cannibalizing their land-based business, but rather enhancing their offerings.”

Lots of land-based casinos opening their online sites

Many well-known Australian land-based brands are opening their websites . The appearance of large and famous gambling companies online partially helped solve the problem with fraudulent virtual casinos. One of the casino review sites is the only way for Australian players to make sure that the gambling venue is honest and safe, as well as test playing conditions before registering. Having studied the collected database of the sites, you can see evidence that large land-based gambling brand is going online.

Since the sites are less trustworthy than amusement arcades, you’d better test the casino before registering. Otherwise, the player risks losing money and leaking his/her personal data.