Online Poker and Gaming Shares Tumble as Pfizer Announces COVID-19 Vaccine

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Investors have been fighting to buy shares in online poker and gaming companies for much of 2020 but, following the latest COVID-19 developments, interest has taken a dip.

Shares in various online poker and gaming companies have taken a dip following the announcement of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. (Image: TheStreet)

Those in poker have witnessed first-hand the pandemic’s impact on the industry. Activity across every major online site has been up this year and, as such, share prices have soared.

However, with Pfizer close to releasing a COVID-19 vaccine, online gaming companies have seen their value drop.

Online Poker and Gaming Shares Dip

Financial markets are volatile at the best of a times. Peaks and troughs are common but share prices across the industry have taken a noticeable downswing as hopes of a return to normality increase.

flutter shares
Flutter shares have dipped in recent days.

In the wake of Pfizer’s announcement, Flutter Entertainment’s share price fell from 14,210 GBX on November 9 to 12,525 GBX on November 10. The price has recovered slightly in the last 24 hours, but it remains lower than it was it mid-October.

gvc shares
GVC shares have been up and down in recent days.

GVC Holdings share price also dropped between November 9 and 10. From a high of 1,030 GBX, it fell to 957 GBX before rebounding to 1,024 GBX on November 11.

gamesys shares
Shares in Gamesys have fallen since Pfizer’s announcement.

Shares in Gamesys have followed a similar trajectory in recent days. Shares in the online poker, casino, and sports betting software company dropped from 1,232 GBX on November 4 to 1,064 GBX on November 11.

One company that bucked the recent trend is the Rank Group. The parent company of Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions.

rank shares
Rank shares have improved as hopes of a COVID vaccine emerge.

Although it has interests in the digital gaming space, a large part of its revenue is derived from bricks and mortar casinos. Following the news that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine may be available in the UK as early as next month, Rank’s share price improved to one-month high of 130.60 GBX.

*GBX = Great British pence.

Game Changing COVID-19 Vaccine

Like poker results, stock market changes have to be considered in context. The announcement from Pfizer has clearly changed the mood not only among the general population but investors.

With hope that life will return to normal in the coming months, online businesses are likely to suffer a drop in activity. However, Pfizer’s COVID vaccine will take time to reach the masses.

Even when it does, the effectiveness of traditional vaccines, such as the one used for influenza, is between 40% and 60%. There is hope Pfizer’s new mRNA vaccine will be more effective, but nothing is certain.

Whatever the success rate, investor sentiment has shifted in recent days. That doesn’t mean the industry is in trouble. Flutter Entertainment shares are still trending upwards overall, while GVC Holding’s value is around 25% higher than it was this time last year.

So, while news of a vaccine has halted the rise of online poker and gaming sites in 2020, the industry will remain healthy even as we emerge from the latest pandemic.

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