Online casino games: Evaluation of COVID-19 impact on the UK gambling
The first half of 2020 saw economies from all over the world come to a complete standstill as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now with many countries going back into a second lockdown, they will feel it all over again. The halt of operations for all non-essential businesses has left people without work and in a state of panic.
The UK didn’t manage to escape the effects of COVID-19, along with the rest of the word. The hard hit on the UK brought on long periods of both national and local lockdowns. The extended periods of closure have forced a number of businesses to shut their doors for good as well as forcing people to adapt their daily habits. There have been significant changes in consumer behavior due to the lockdowns, and the UK gambling scene is not exempt to these changes.
When announcing the terms of the lockdowns, the UK government stated all non-essential public venues must close, therefore including all casinos, bookmakers and bingo halls. This of course had a huge impact on the gambling industry within the UK.
The UK Gambling Commission always provides operational data on the gambling industry within the UK. Comparing data from 2019, when retail gambling venues were fully functional, to data from 2020, when all gambling establishments have closed or had limited operating hours – except for the National Lottery – gives a fantastic insight into just how the UK Gambling Industry has been affected by COVID-19.
How has it affected the UK gambling industry?
There are a few ways in which the Covid-19 pandemic has had an effect on the UK gambling scene. The biggest and most obvious is the complete halt all land-based gambling activities came to from March – June 2020. Showing a devastating decline for casinos and bookmakers. Even after lockdown measures started to ease, the effects of COVID-19 have been lasting.
Less people gambling
With limited options for gambling habits during the lockdown period it is to be expected that the data will show a decline in the number of people gambling. People who usually go to the casinos or bookies are now being forced to stay at home. Data shows many people stopped gambling altogether during this period.
Even the National Lottery which remained in operation over the lockdowns saw a decline in consumer participation. A YouGov survey shows a drop to 22% mid-June in comparison to 26% earlier in the year.
No new players
Date further shows that the full lockdown period did not attract many new consumers to gambling. However, there was an increase in players turning to digital gambling products.
Rise in online gambling
Data from the UKGC during the first 2 months of lockdown shows a significant increase in the number of consumers searching and participating in online gambling. Reports show a rise of 25% in people playing online slots. The number of consumers playing online poker went up even further, with an increase of 38%.
The online gambling scene is one of the rare industries that are managing to survive throughout the COVID-19 outbreak with minimal financial damage. Since traditional land-based casinos are closed or run with limiting operating hours, many people have chosen to play online instead opting for independent casino and EU sites or no verification casinos
The major shift of UK gambling activities now being online extends to both casinos and betting sites. Non-UK betting sites are a favorite amongst UK players for their wider range of betting options. Also see guide to casinos not on gamstop for a top-quality gambling experience.