No aspect of our lives has gone unaffected by the outbreak of COVID-19, and gambling is not an exception either. Yet, the impact of the pandemic upon verticals is not the same as while some businesses are wiped-out, the same cannot be said about the gambling market. The impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on the gambling industry is much more nuanced due to the fact that brick-and-mortar gambling venues have felt the pinch, while their virtual counterparts have seen an exorbitant demand.
The pandemic led to major changes in customer behaviour, which has certainly not gone unnoticed by gambling operators. Naturally, they have made certain adjustments to their strategies to ensure that the services they offer meet the needs of gambling enthusiasts, and above all, the constantly-changing circumstances.
Closure of land-based gambling venues and the aftertmaths
The spread of COVID-19 has a significant impact on the operations of land-based casinos and bookies. This was exactly the case in the UK where brick-and-mortar gambling venues were forced to cease their operations on the 20th of March. Needless to say, this led to a dramatical decrease in the profit the market generates as normally, such activities bring in nearly half of the income of the gambling market.
For that reason, gambling operators in the UK and other parts of the world were required to tread lightly to ensure that they will go through the lockdown as unscathed as possible.
Now, in spite of the ease of the lockdown in some countries, many gambling enthusiasts still shy away from visiting land-based gambling venues, for which reason it is hard to say for sure what the future holds for them.
How is online gambling affected by COVID-19
The outbreak of COVID-19, and more specifically, the need for alternative ways to gamble, is certainly to be blamed for the staggering growth the online gambling industry has seen over the past few months.
Although sports betting and playing casino games online were hugely enjoyed activities during the lockdown, it turns out that the number of people who have decided to try their hand at these forms of entertainment is not that mind-blowing in some parts of the globe. According to the figures released by YouGov, the share of the people who have had a stab at gambling activities for the first time is only 0.4%.
Not to mention the fact that numbers indicate that at the beginning of the lockdown, approximately 2.1% of gambling enthusiasts have laid off betting. A decrease was noticed also when it comes to the number of active players accounts. This is hugely surprising, especially when one considers the fact that the number of people who visit online casinos has been off the scale.
Gambling enthusiasts started to broaden their horizons
Interestingly enough, during the period of the lockdown, many gambling enthusiasts were looking for ways to diversify their betting session and try for size new products. The shift towards a greater number of activities has not gone unnoticed by gambling operators who gave their best to cater to the needs of players.
Аccording to a trusted source, during the lockdown, gambling aficionados were more inclined to take part in multiple activities. Because of the pandemic, major changes have occurred when the preferences of gambling enthusiasts are concerned. Many operators report that the interest in poker platforms has grown dramatically over the past few months as well, with more and more players joining poker halls.
Gambling operators have adjusted their strategies in order to satisfy the demand for slots, which has also peaked during the lockdown. It turns out that the popularity of online bingo has also been on the rise after the spread of COVID-19, which is also the case with some lottery products.
It is hardly surprising that since the start of the pandemic, players have started to spend even more time playing their favorite casino games through their portable devices. Even more so, what figures show is that touchscreen devices have left their desktop cousins well behind in terms of usage.
How casino operators have adjusted their strategy
As you can see, the gambling market has entered a new phase and numerous changes were brought about to the preferences of players and how casino games are played.
It turns out that during the pandemic, casino enthusiasts were inclined to decide in favor of games that offer much more action-packed gameplay and enthralling theme, and casino operators went out of their way to measure up to this requirement.
Because of the positive dynamics in online gambling, casino operators give their best to attract some fresh blood in and to see to it that they will manage to hold the attention of their existing customers. To attain this, some operators have decided to extend the range of the available promotional deals, to enhance their loyalty scheme, and give players a wider choice of tournaments and betting opportunities.
Casino operators that are rather insightful tend to focus their attention on long-term strategies that include setting up their websites correctly and making them as appealing for players as possible.
Since the different countries have come up with strategies to handle the pandemic on their own, this makes it difficult to foresee what the long-term impact of the outbreak of the virus on the gambling market will be.
What can be said for sure is that online casinos are more likely to become the lifeblood of the gambling industry because of the significant drop in the popularity of land-based casinos caused by the spread of the virus.
Although all bets are off, casino operators are most likely to remain persistent in their efforts to draw new customers in.