How Covid-19 Affected the Online Casino Industry

Over 26.9 % of the Airlines industry was tremendously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a 2020 survey conducted by S & P Global Marketing Intelligence. 

In line with this, global unemployment has also increased to nearly 25 million, based on the new economic and labor crisis assessment measured by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The closing of land-based casinos, lottery outlets, and bars has been experienced all over the world too.

Despite the circumstances, the roaming pandemic was a turnaround for the online gambling market. In fact, because of lockdowns, many people began playing slot games online to keep themselves busy and make additional income through internet gambling. 

Let’s dive in to learn more about the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the online casino industry and its consumers.

The Good

Notwithstanding the grim cases that had happened due to the coronavirus outbreak, the current situation became a silver lining to the web-based casino industry. Some of the surprising things that the industry gained include:

The Online Casino Industry Skyrocketed

According to the Global Gambling Marketing Report, the coronavirus has led to a sudden rise in online gambling revenues with some studies reporting a 67% increase. As featured by Island Echo, most gamblers preferred betting online due to the unfortunate closure of offline betting industries caused by Covid-19 in 2020.

Since no physical sporting activities took place, the brick-and-mortar casinos offered minimal products and services. In addition, there has been a cancellation of several live events gambling industries that ultimately led to the mushrooming of the virtual betting market. 

Figures from the online casino singapore market soared as gamblers from all over Asia were attempting to find an alternative when their local casinos shut down.

Prevalence of Live Sports Betting

Due to global outbreaks, betting providers have introduced live sports that gamblers can use and game online. This is in coordination with the sports industry–which made an effort to look for other alternatives to catch and maintain their fans in sports.

The teamwork was so effective that live sports betting became very prevalent today. In fact, CBS News reported that an increasing number of US citizens are trying their luck at virtual sports betting with the 2021 Super Bowl and NCAA March Madness pulling out billions of more dollars in gamblers than the 2019 games. 

The said report also mentioned that around US$4.3 billion of wagers was placed by gamblers on Super Bowl LV, marking “the largest single-event legal handle in the US sports gambling history,” according to the American Gaming Association. In sports gambling, a “handle” refers to the total amount of cash wagered by punters.

Meanwhile, over 47 million Americans have placed wagers on March Madness. The number of money bet online on the tournament has tripled since 2019.

Showcased the Benefits of Online Bingo

Bingo is stereotypically referred to as one of those “games for the elderly.” But just after the coronavirus outbreak, web-based bingo has spiked by 72 percent and was played by gamers young (legal age) and old.

Even before the pandemic, many studies already suggest that playing bingo can offer a host of benefits to players. Still to this day, not only is the game beneficial to one’s mental health but the game also became an additional way of earning extra cash amid the calamity. 

Some of the reasons to engage in web-based bingo games include:

  • Increases a person’s confidence: Playing bingo online can keep the brain occupied by giving you a chance to socialize and knowing about what is available in the market. As a result, it boosts your knowledge of trading activity in this global world.
  • Mental health: Virtual bingo involves the use of cards where computers automatically select numbers from the menu. Anyone who participates in this game will benefit by stimulating their brain and positively impacts their social life.
  • Rooms for chatting: The game offered rooms for users to chat online and play games. Consequently, it opened a place for people to mingle with other players online. It’s also a good opportunity to talk about the pandemic and how it affected other player’s lives and the gambling industry.

Became a Good Source of Entertainment

With the pointers mentioned above, it is apparent that the outbreak of Covid-19 has turned online casinos into a great source of entertainment while everyone stays in the comfort of their homes. 

One reason for its popularity is that online casinos enabled users to have the same casino experience without leaving their homes. Another thing that made people so attracted to virtual casinos is the bonuses and promotions offered. Not only are the rewards enjoyable for the gamers but they also provided a way for people to earn additional money. 

Similarly, the pandemic gave rise to real-time casino games such as live casinos that offered a more realistic casino experience with a live host.

To amp up the users’ excitement, live casinos offered a wide selection of casino games to choose from. This was done in order to avoid boredom and explore more games that even seasoned players have not tried before. 

Participants can play live poker, blackjack, roulette, and other classic casino games via live streams. They can also communicate with the dealer through chat and compete against other gamers.

The Bad

The Covid-19 pandemic may have been a favored event for the success of online casinos. Unfortunately, the industry’s popularity also rebounded a harmful effect on compulsive gamblers and was used as a medium for fraud online gambling platforms.

Increased Gambling Problem

A database tracking gambling consumption patterns in Australia has found that online gambling in the country increased by 71%. Meanwhile, a UK poll reported that 28% of punters who bet at least once a week had an increased urge to gamble more. Another finding suggests that around two-thirds of Irish people over 18 years of age participate in some form of gambling, with up to 55,000 men and women believed to now have a serious gambling disorder.

The Family Addiction Specialist explained that there is a risk factor associated with the escalation of online gambling. One determinant for the increase is due to the rising unemployment and global economic stability. 

As a result, many had turned to gamble as their source of income. If one is facing a personal financial crisis, gambling can bring up significant issues.

However, it is crucial for people to be aware that debt is a risk factor as it can lead to mental health problems and that turning to gambling amidst the pandemic is not a reliable or safe source of financial support. Financial issues can aggravate feelings of hopelessness and hasten many individuals to a very dark place.

This is especially vital for problem gamblers to be mindful of because among all of the different types of addictions (e.g., drugs, alcohol, sex), those with a gambling addiction have been said to have the highest suicide rate. This is because gambling can lead to severe debt that can worsen feelings of vulnerability and hopelessness.

The Exposure of Illegal Casino Sites

The surge of web-based gambling amidst the global pandemic has also spiked the number of fraudulent activities online. While scammers are capitalizing on the crisis, betting operators are left with the challenge of protecting players and mitigating risk. 

As the coronavirus crisis persists and gambling establishments such as brick-and-mortar casinos remain closed, the need for safe and reliable security measures is even more critical, as players place bets on the web and during this time, everyone can only rely on virtual options.

Conclusion

It is noted that the online casino industry encountered a big turnaround during the Covid-19 outbreak with a progressive increase in gambling activities. However, despite the benefits and enjoyment found in the online casino platform, it is imperative for one to understand how gambling patterns will change. 

Recognizing whether your gambling is a problem can be a valuable step in making decisions about what to do next. Protection when it comes to online gambling is also one of the concerns players should be wary of as it is their money that is on the line. Because of this very reason, players have to bet as responsibly as they can at any web-based casino they opt to share their personal information with.

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