The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world equally and the gambling industry is no different. With the global condition worsening over the month of March and subsequently extending over the entire summer, all non-essential places were shut down which essentially ended the physical bookmaking and physical casino businesses.
It was followed by a sudden, large shift of players from physical to the best online casino gambling. Contrary to the expectations, the online gaming industry has not seen booming growth due to a large number of players. As it stands, the 2020-21 period is the historical low for online and offline gambling in the world.
Sports betting and bookmaking forms a large part of the physical gambling industry. COVID-19 caused all sporting events to be delayed indefinitely, delivering a critical hit to the sports betting industry.
According to independent researches, there was not only a 31 percent decrease in the frequency of sports and real-time event betting but also a decreased amount of money per bet wagered during the pandemic. Most players have shifted to e-sports in an effort to adjust to the changing circumstances due to the pandemic.
Slot Machines have been one of the most popular gaming options owing to their tendency of instant player gratification and attractive winning rewards. Slot Machines have seen a growth in gambling activity over the pandemic by roughly 25 percent as compared to the pre-pandemic conditions.
The pandemic has forced players whose favorite activities were severely affected to look elsewhere to fulfill their gambling needs. Although there has been a 3 percent decrease in the number of players engaged in multiple gambling activities, there has been a positive impact in other areas leading to a 38 percent growth in games such as Poker.
Reports from the start of the pandemic point towards a decreased length per session which has led to a decreased number of sessions per hour according to the statistics issued by some of the biggest operators in the field.
Virtual Betting saw a decrease of 48 percent at the start of the pandemic that improved by 26 percent within four months. These figures represent the sample taken from 80 percent of the player population.
While the pandemic is still not over and the second wave of COVID-19 has been going on in full force, there have been positive changes in the industry-wide trends with the passage of time.
After the worldwide lockdown, sporting events have resumed under strict SOPs, and this has led to a boom in the sports betting industry with an expected revenue increase of 24 percent.
The increasing shift towards online gambling over the past few months during the lockdown period has led to a number of bookmaking establishments to shut down permanently. It has added more pressure on the surviving physical casinos to make their services more competitive and attractive for players who have shifted from the physical to the digital medium.