Lockdown measures have seen land casinos take a hit, but the top online casinos in US are reaching new strides. The inability of gamblers to visit land-based casinos has seen them turn to gamble online. And what followed was the acceleration of an already fast-growing sector of the gambling industry.
How covid has affected gambling companies.
About 51% of the world's population takes part in some form of gambling every year, so it is no surprise that online casinos are reaping benefits from the closure of land casinos.
Land-based casinos have suffered the biggest during the pandemic. All over the world, they have experienced a significant drop in revenue due to social distancing and travel bans. In the UK, two-thirds of more engaged gamblers reported that they had increased the time or money that they are spending on at least one online gambling activity.
It is only now that countries have started to gradually reopen that casinos can start to get a healthy stream of consumers in. And even then, there is no telling how permanent the loss of patronizers to online casinos is.
To combat this shift in client demand and avoid getting cut adrift, most casinos have created websites and applications for their customers. Casino organizations have changed their mode of advertising and have focused more on aggressive mobile ads. In the last year, operators in Canada and Australia, two of the foremost gambling countries, have reported upturns as 77% and 67%, respectively, in online gambling activities. A December publication by the British Gambling Commission showed that online gross gambling yield (GGY) increased by 30%.
The shift to online platforms has also presented both operators and gamblers with more gaming options. For casinos, online games are cheaper to set up and allow them to maximize the services of third-party service providers. For consumers, there is now a wider range of games to select from and higher mobility to which the games can be accessed.
Effect on individuals
One negative effect of online gambling during the pandemic has been the increase of mental health issues relating to gambling. The ease of access to casino websites means that people are only a phone tap away from gambling which puts several high-risk and reformed gamblers in danger. Time spent away from work and the need for an alternative method of raising money will push an individual towards gambling addiction. By December, Britain had witnessed a month-on-month increase of 6% inactive accounts and 12% in online bets.
People who already struggle with gambling addiction found themselves in situations where they could not distract. As a result, problem gambling has the potential to increase prior debt and lead to further harm to victims and people around them.
Tackling the increased health risk of gambling during Coronavirus
Lawmakers and gambling regulation committees recognize the dangers of online gambling, and in some countries, government and private casinos are making commendable efforts to minimize them. Casinos are implored to avoid promoting their brands and instead focus on ads warning gamers to bet responsibly. Gambling regulators have moved to impose and/or reduce the limits on losses in intervals. In Latvia, online gambling was banned altogether until lockdown restrictions were lifted. Education of people at risk has also been encouraged.
The UK has also made significant efforts to fight problem gambling; the British Gambling Commission awarded £9 million to GambleAware to aid their efforts in boosting gambling harm treatment services. The previous month, the commission had fined Betway a hefty £11.6m as settlement for "accepting stolen money from high-spending “VIP” customers, some of whom were displaying clear signs of gambling."
On their part, some private casino owners have made promises to make work harder in monitoring individual gambling activities on their sites. They do this spot problem Gambling patterns and reach out to their most vulnerable customers.
Coronavirus has no doubt put a huge dent on the coffers of brick-and-mortar casinos, but any casino owner who knows the industry recognizes the potential in online gaming. The increased use of online platforms has to stifle a potential economic haemorrhage in the gambling industry. In a Post-Covid long term, it is not expected that online casinos will lose too many customers due to their advantages over land casinos. In fact, Grand View Research estimates the online gaming to continue to grow at a compound rate of 11% between now and 2027.