In the early weeks of the coronavirus era, it can be easy to focus on the economic losses caused by nationwide casino closures, regional “lockdowns” which shutter bars and restaurants, and the suspension of entire major league sports seasons.
But while certain businesses and industries are surely suffering as America’s outbreak expands, others are successfully filling niches created by coronavirus quarantines.
In an age now defined by social distancing, telecommuting, and more hours of free time to kill than most of us have ever had, a long list of companies and services have stepped up to meet increased demand.
Let’s look at some of the industries thriving amid coronavirus.
Zoom Stock Booms on Teleconferencing Bump; Stars Group Revenue Surges
Back on January 27 of this year, shares of the San Jose-based remote conferencing company Zoom Video Communications sold for just over $70. Today, with millions of Americans now using Zoom video conferences to conduct business, the stock’s price has doubled to nearly $140.
Investment experts are already warning the public that these massive gains are nothing but a “bubble” waiting to burst – and that very well may be the case.
Nonetheless, the widespread popularity of Zoom among businesspeople who need to hold board meetings, teachers looking to take their students on virtual field trips, and families who simply want to stay connected during quarantine can’t be denied. Social media feeds are abuzz with the latest Zoom wallpaper designs, and the platform’s practicality will remain in place well after the coronavirus outbreak is eventually contained.
Fresh off of the company’s $4.7 billion acquisition of British gambling giant Sky Betting and Gaming, The Stars Group recently reported record high revenue of $2.53 billion in 2019. That was good for a whopping 24.6 percent year-on-year revenue jump, one which is likely to be repeated in 2020.
With gambling enthusiasts worldwide currently cooped up at home – and most casinos in coronavirus afflicted areas long since closed down – demand for The Stars Group’s signature product PokerStars has never been higher.
In fact, PokerStars recently hosted the largest poker tournament in the site’s history, as 93,016 entries at $215 a pop produced a massive 14th Anniversary Sunday Million prize pool of $18,603,200,
The coronavirus inspired iGaming boom is hardly limited to The Stars Group either. Major worldwide operators like 888 Holdings, William Hill, Scientific Games, Flutter Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PartyPoker have all experienced increased demand from their online casinos.
That’s not exactly surprising either, what with untold millions of people stuck inside and seeking a fun way to pass the time – and potentially line their pockets by winning a big online casino jackpot.
In a press release, Mattias Stetz – who serves as chief operating officer of the Illinois-based iGaming company Rush Street Interactive – confirmed that coronavirus quarantines have correlated with more players packing the virtual tables at sites like PlaySugarHouse.com in Pennsylvania and New Jersey:
“We’ve seen quite a surge in online casino play. We expect that uptick to continue while Americans are being asked to stay at home looking for ways to be entertained.
During this very difficult and unprecedented period of time while most are staying home, it’s nice that we can provide another outlet for entertainment and a chance to win life changing jackpots. It proves that even with a small bet, our players can win big.”
Delivery Industries Thrive Amid Covid: Staying In & Ordering Out
Other industries thriving amid coronavirus include delivery and takeout services.
Depending on where you live, fears over the coronavirus may have sparked a run on grocery markets which quickly emptied the shelves.
Add those shortages to medical advice directing people to stay indoors whenever possible, and plenty of people out there are home – and hungry. Fortunately, almost all governmentally issued orders to close restaurants and bars have made crucial allowances for delivery and/or drop-off service.
Predictably, many Americans are now choosing to order in from their favorite pizza place or takeout spot rather than take unnecessary risks. As supermarkets and restaurants look to adapt and satisfy demand for delivery, they’re also hiring new drivers in droves.
According to National Public Radio (NPR), the grocery delivery service Instacart is planning to hire more than 300,000 “gig” workers to ramp up its capacity.