Online Gambling as Impacted by Covid-19

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The Coronavirus outbreak has impacted negatively all aspects of social and economic life all across the globe, including online gambling. Once the news of Covid-19 broke out, it was clear this is much more than a health crisis.

National economies are facing years of recovery, with millions out of the workforce and business tanking.

But with stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, the digital entertainment industry saw a spike. With productions closed, and shoots and premiers put on hold, streaming services dominated the market.

Netflix saw its subscription forecasts double amidst the pandemic. Disney+ gained 50 million subscribers in 5 months. Amazon Prime Video released free content that doesn’t even require subscriptions.

Gambling Offline Was a No-Go

The gambling industry as part of global entertainment has been severely impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak, as well. Macau, Las Vegas, all the major brick-and-mortar gambling sites suffered a hit from the lockdown.

The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau in Macao marks a steady decrease in monthly gross revenue from 87.8% in February to 93.2% in May. Following the closure of operations on March 17th, Las Vegas’ licensed casinos marked a 39.57% decrease in gambling revenue compared to the same period last year. The state of Nevada collected 53.58% less in fees from taxable revenue, compared to the same period last year.

Those numbers are staggering. But the entertainment capitals are not despairing. The upcoming official comeback of the heart of fun and gambling – Las Vegas, warms the heart of all the tourists and gambling enthusiasts. Mark June 4th down for the grand start and the gradual return to glory on the Strip.

And you can rest assured, Las Vegas is taking all necessary measures to reopen safely. One of the largest operators in Las Vegas has introduced their seven-point safety plan, that includes:

  1. Screening and temperature checks for employees;
  2. PPE made mandatory for employees, while visitors are advised to use masks;
  3. A mandatory physical distancing of 6-feet;
  4. Improved and easy access to hand sanitizers and washing stations, and boosted routine cleaning of common areas;
  5. Utilized air quality control following air filter requirements;
  6. Enhanced incident response protocols and digitalization of processes.

But on-site gambling is still a matter of demand. Ground casinos are expected to open gradually, according to demand. If you’re wary of exposing yourself to the fray of Las Vegas, here’s your alternative.

Online Gambling Is a Go

With the closure of land-based venues and big sporting events cancellation, the trend in the gambling industry is downward. Country-to-country analyses, however, have observed a significant shift in users’ behavior from offline to online gambling. Certain online gambling products have marked a rise, along with increased spending and time spent gambling.

The UK has reported a very slight increase in first-time players, but the interest in online gambling and the related games and activities has evidently grown. Google provides a good insight into the search interest of online users. Data has been gathered since 2004. The sharp increase in searches from the last three months is more than obvious.

With country-wide lockdowns, gambling advertising has marked a steady increase amidst the pandemic. Even though gambling awareness has not increased dramatically, there are noteworthy shifts in an upper trend for various bet types in March of 2020.

Poker, virtual sports betting, and slots mark respectively 38%, 40%, and 25% increase in bets, with other gaming marking just a 3% increase. There’s also a noteworthy increase in active players, meaning those who have made one or more bets in March.

The increase for slots and other gaming activities is respectively 25% and 13%. But the growth in virtual bets and poker is dramatic – 88% and 53%.

Online Gambling In a Time of Crisis

According to the UK Gambling Commission, even though these numbers don’t indicate a rise in activity but only in product use, with bets per player rather decreasing, they’ve reported a different situation with engaged players.

The data shows that 64% or two-thirds of engaged players have upped either the amount of time or the amount of money they spend when gambling. Hour-long sessions or more have increased by 23%. These figures have prompted the UKGC to issue guidance for more strict measures in times of lockdown to protect vulnerable players.

With the continuous stay-at-home orders and the country-wide lockdowns, the main concern for gambling regulators is a spike in gambling problems among vulnerable players. We, at DailyCasinoBuzz, urge you to always gamble responsibly, whether you’ll be enjoying an online gambling session or you’ll be flying to Las Vegas first-thing after June 4th.

If you’re still wary of entering the real world outside your door, you have the opportunity to find your place online. Gambling in a time of crisis can be both dangerous but also – a recreational activity to take your mind off things.

If you’ve taken a mental hit from the Coronavirus outbreak, and you feel like you’ve taken too much refuge in online gambling, we strongly advise seeking help through national gambling addiction helplines. Despite the ongoing crisis, they are available to help you 24/7.

If you’re preparing for the grand openings of gambling venues around the globe, enjoy the fun responsibly both for yourself and those around you!

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