This year has been one of the most difficult years in the last 50 years. The Covid-19 pandemic significantly affected almost everyone. Large and small scale businesses were not spared. Jobs were lost, debts were incurred, and industries shut down. The impact of the pandemic was felt by major business industries, including the gambling world. For a significant period, land-based casinos were shut down, recreational centers and other institutions that enabled gambling activities were also closed. This includes but isn’t limited to bars, malls, horse racing platforms, sports betting outlets, etc. Across the world, sporting activities were put on hold or abruptly ended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Impact OF Covid-19 on Online Gambling
The pandemic, however, did not cause heavy financial losses for certain companies. Some industries benefited from it. One of such beneficiaries is the online gambling world that experienced an exponential increase in customer base and economic growth. During the early days of the lockdown in 2020, people became more engaged in gambling on online platforms because access to land-based casinos was restricted. Millions stayed indoors for many weeks without having anything else to do. Naturally, some became active participants in the world of online gambling. Habitual gamblers started playing online casino slot games and other gaming models offered by gambling companies worldwide. Newcomers registered with different online casino platforms more than ever before. Now, it is highly unlikely that things will go back to normal (before Covid-19) after the pandemic is over.
Each year, an estimated fifty-one percent of the world’s population participate in gambling activities. This important statistic shows that the switch to online gambling during the pandemic must have caused an exponential increase in profits for online gambling platforms. However, this significant development in the online gambling industry means that customers and observers will expect more from online gambling companies. They are expected to thoroughly improve their services and the betting options they offer. Without adding new features to their platforms or updating their software, these online gambling companies may find it difficult to impress users.
Because the internet is wide and filled with billions of different stuff, it may take time for people to start getting adapted to gambling online, especially when they have not done that before. Nevertheless, there are platforms dedicated to helping gamblers get adapted to online gambling as quickly as possible. Such platforms recommend the safest, most trusted, most secured online gambling companies to gamblers.
According to claims from different sources, many online gambling platforms have reported huge financial gains in 2020 more than ever before. The rate at which individual users visit their websites has also been reported to increase significantly. While it has been largely an unfortunate year for other business sectors, it is obvious that this may easily be the most successful year for online gambling companies.
Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Entire Gambling Industry
The impact of Covid-19 in the gambling world was felt across all gambling sectors — from the postponement or cancellation of sporting activities to the closure of land-based casino platforms. This pandemic has put many gamblers in a state of unrest. Frequent gamblers do not know what to do, and others are uncertain about the future of both online and physical gambling activities. While the coronavirus’s effects are evident in the physical gambling system, it is uncertain whether the online gambling industry will continue to thrive. Land-based gambling platforms have recorded huge financial losses while online gambling companies make huge gains (at least, thus far). However, we cannot predict how long it would last.
In Las Vegas, the physical casinos are reporting a significant drop in the number of customers that come to gamble. This decline in customer base may continue as long as the virus keeps spreading. One of the most likely reasons why there is a decrease in the number of people that visit casinos is the strict guideline set up by the government to reduce the spread of the virus. People may find it too tasking or difficult to adhere to all the rules and may not want to break them. Another likely reason is that most people are being careful not to get the virus. Hence, they’d rather stay at home. While such developments will make physical gambling sites suffer financial losses, online gambling companies benefit from it.
Below is a list of the general impacts Covid-19 has had on the gambling industry so far:
Changes In Betting Behavior Across the Board
For many individuals, staying indoors, maintaining social distance and, adhering to coronavirus guidelines have become a normal part of life. This has also changed the way people place bets or gamble on various sporting activities. Rather than risking their health by visiting physical gambling stores, it is much safer to engage in betting activities online. Even though a few gambling enthusiasts still desire to visit land-based gambling sites, they may probably not be allowed to do so because of the strict measures imposed by their government to mitigate viral transmission. This is slowly but constantly changing betting behaviors among gamblers.
Challenges for Sports Betting Sites
Many sport betting sites faced a major challenge at the onset of the pandemic. Physical sporting events were either canceled or postponed. Therefore, it became necessary to explore other online sporting activities to keep gamblers engaged. eSports became an alternative for physical sporting events. eSport competitions like FIFA 2020, PES 2020, NBA2K20 became popular among gamblers. Sport betting sites had to switch the trend and began to explore the benefits of eSports, which has proven to be a major hit even at the moment. Other random online gambling platforms have also experienced a surge in user activity.
The Future of Gambling is Unpredictable
While online gambling companies may be enjoying all the advantages of the pandemic, we do not know whether this trend will last. This is because other external factors like unemployment and lack of money may cause a decrease in profits as time goes on. Many people have lost their jobs, and more jobs may be lost before this is over. Tourists are often the biggest patronizers of land-based casinos in Vegas. With fewer people visiting these casinos because of a lack of funds and travel restrictions, casinos will lose revenue.
Lessons to Learn from the Great Depression
According to the President of the Federal Reserve of St. Louis, unemployment may likely hit thirty percent while Gross Domestic Product (GDP) may lead to fifty percent. If this eventually happens, the global economy will likely experience something much worse than the great depression between 1929 to 1940. Should this be a major concern for gambling companies? The gambling sector of the United States saw a significant boost in revenue during the great depression. American states began to legalize gambling activities just to generate revenues from taxes and other bills.
In Nevada, gambling became legal, and almost everyone participated in gambling activities. The impact gambling had on the American economy during the great depression was significant. As unlikely as it was on paper, people bought lottery tickets and placed bets on horse racing. By the end of the decade, the gambling industry was already a legalized system in America. As the economy became stable again during the fifties, gambling had already become a mainstay in the American economy. It eventually turned into a multi-billion dollar industry. Statistics indicate that people tend to gamble even more when the economy is unfavorable.
Covid-19 has impacted the gambling industry significantly. There has been a major shift from land-based or physical gambling to online gambling. Online gambling companies are currently benefiting from the effects of the pandemic. However, what is not known is whether they will continue to do so in the long run.
Furthermore, Covid-19 has caused a lot of changes to occur in the sporting world which in turn has forced gambling platforms to adjust to the new reality. Most gamblers now prefer playing from home rather than visiting physical gambling outlets because of strict government guidelines or fear of contracting the virus.
While we may not know whether online gambling companies will continue to benefit from this global crisis, one thing is well-established; gambling tends to thrive during an economic crisis.