The gambling industry was no exception from the grand scale economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the effect on the industry is nuanced and polarized.
The online facet of the gambling industry is doing well. In fact, online betting and 1xbet promo code are still available to people. However, the market is significantly reduced in comparison to the increased demand for online casinos.
The other half of the gambling industry, which requires on-the-ground operations, have obviously faltered due to the health risk posed by the pandemic.
What are the short-term effects?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for online gambling alternatives has increased significantly while bingo halls, casinos, and race-tracks are likely to remain closed within the near future.
Since major sporting events have been cancelled around the world, sports betting plunged as well. While people can still place bets on online gaming platforms, bettors are left with minimal options. For example, the launch of online betting pools around politics, international events, and even on television shows.
Online casinos appear unscathed and even saw a slight increase. This is not surprising considering the pandemic had little impact at all regardless of the fact that people were at home.
According to the GlobalWebIndex Coronavirus data, gamblers are consuming more media. In terms of consumption, reports show that they’re connected more via mobile than on laptops. This leads to the fact that online poker, e-sports, and virtual sports have seen the most significant increase.
Online gambling providers and sports leagues and associations have turned to virtual sports and e-sports, respectively. E-sports was already growing at a steady pace but saw exponential growth due to the coronavirus pandemic, while virtual sports are the closest alternative for ardent sports fans and sports bettors have to the real thing.
Online poker has shot up since the lockdown in most countries around the world, with a 43% growth according to a report by Optimove. In fact, the report also stated an increase of 255% in first-time poker players compared to the average rate prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
What are the long-term implications?
It’s apparent that the gambling industry is doing well due to online gambling. However, since countries around the world are slowly phasing out from the “stay at home” message to “getting back up” from the multi-faceted impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are bound to be changes in the industry.
Brace for an economic recession
The world is already facing an economic depression dealt by the Coronavirus pandemic. However, it’s bound to get worse before things get better. For the gambling industry, studies have shown that gambling has always been resilient even during periods of recession given that the expenditure is within the discretion of the consumer..
A decline in physical gambling operations
Right now, people shy away from venues that attract larger crowds unless it’s necessary, like buying home essentials from the grocery store. As a result, gambling venues will likely struggle, especially for small locations.
E-sports betting will mature further
The COVID-19 pandemic gave a huge boost to the already growing and popular e-sports. Competitive video gaming and virtual sports are poised to introduce a new demographic into the world of sports betting. However, it’s also possible that it will see a decline as major sporting events are set to resume in the latter half of the year.
The older demographic is becoming more tech-savvy
Being locked down at home has been a period of unconventional exploration for everyone, including older groups. They are more involved and are rapidly learning digital skills. Perhaps it’s an opportunity that the online gambling industry can capitalize on.
It’s safe to say that the road to economic recovery is bound to be rocky in the following months (and years), due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the gambling industry has a record to be resilient during recessions and people will still gamble.
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