Earlier this year, experts made numerous predictions on the future of the gambling industry. Life, however, since stepped in and had its say, and the COVID-19 pandemic introduced itself to the world in the spring of 2020.
And now, forced quarantines continue to severely affect the income of casinos and sports bookmakers.
In any negative scenario, however, it is important to look for a silver lining. And we have already seen that the pandemic has created increased demand in some industries. The gambling industry, for example, is one that has seen more popularity than ever before. Even before the pandemic, there has been opportunities for recent developments in the online gambling industry to gain more exposure. One example of these developments has been live casino games, with live croupiers dealing and spinning the action from a real-world casino streamed directly to your computer.
The Effect of COVID-19 on the Online Gambling Scene
When the pandemic shook the world in March of this year, and numerous sporting events were cancelled, the online gambling industry began to see a change, i.e., a trend had occurred in that there was a rising statistic in new online casino players every week. This was brought about by the fact that sports betting fans had fewer events to bet on.
UK Online Casinos Leading the Charge
The UK has seen a paradigm shift, with the crossover from offline to online gambling given a huge boost to popular UK gawking sites. While many were enjoying gambling on their mobile devices, many who were stuck at home during the pandemic turned to their laptops and desktops. With no sign of the pandemic ending soon, we will likely see a greater number of gamblers satisfying their craving for casinos online.
Reports from UK Gambling Commission
Reports from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) verified a significant increase in those playing online. These reports claim a 25 per cent increase in people playing slots and a 38 per cent increase in poker playing. These numbers are for the first two months of COVID-19.
Online Migration at Peak
Of course, it isn’t just gambling that’s been affected by the pandemic. People are working more at home, and even shopping and socialising more in front of their computer screen. Whether this is a sign of things to come remains to be seen. It will likely ensure, however, that people are more digitally aware and more comfortable interacting with the Internet than ever before.
The Future of Online Gambling in Europe
There is currently a boom in online gambling in Europe. This growth is often associated with “soft” zones, which is essentially a lighter tax regime with operators. These are regions such as the Isle of Man, Malta, and Gibraltar. Not only that, but the EU is also seeing positive development in virtual technologies: e-sports, VR gambling, VR slots, and VR casinos. Business owners in the gambling industry want to serve the contemporary player who do not visit mainstream clubs and casinos but instead prefer to use personal computers or gadgets.
As sports betting came to a partial standstill, bettors were looking for alternative methods to flex their gambling and entertainment muscles. This saw more people playing online slots or table games like poker.
The Final Word
The increased popularity of the online gambling industry and the restrictions on land-based casino activities as a result of the pandemic have led to offline establishments losing their appeal among players. Experts have argued that gambling operators who failed to bother to establish an online version of their products will struggle. Gambling is becoming an increasingly online activity, and that’s just a fact.
What is in store for the European online gambling market?