Home Business Insights & Advice How has Covid-19 impacted the UK gambling scene?

How has Covid-19 impacted the UK gambling scene?

by John Saunders
19th Nov 20 11:50 pm

When the Corona virus was announced way back in November 2019, little did we know the aftermath and the trail that it would leave along the way. People got sick, businesses shut down during lock down and some economies are still feeling the impact of what a new virus and a world pandemic could bring. The world was brought to its knees and at a standstill, especially with countries imposing more lock downs as we are imposed with more lock downs and measures to contain the pandemic

If we had to ask you to find one country that was not affected with the COVID-19 pandemic, we assure you that you will not be able to lose one. Everyone and every country in the world was affected. And this is very unfortunate.  One of the most affected countries in the world is unfortunately the United Kingdom. National lock downs have impacted many industries, including the gambling scene. With many businesses closed down, or forced to be shut down for a long period of time, the UK suffered, and it suffered hard

When the first lock-down was announced way back in March, the UK Government that is led by PM Boris Johnson, advised that all non essential shops and public venues where people meet will close.  These include gambling shops and also other gambling establishments.  These measures were launched in the hopes of reducing the risk of contamination and spread of the virus. Nobody knew what measures to take in situations like these, but here we are experiencing second and even third lock-downs.  Other measures to follow were the stoppage of all sporting events, and when they launched again, some sports did not have the usual vibe or magic, and this is possibly due to the fact that fans and spectators were not allowed at sporting events. Almost all sporting events that have resumed have faced the daunting pressure of going ahead behind closed doors. This is the effect that a world pandemic leaves across the world

The UK Gambling Commision tha is the regulatory body for the gambling industry in the United Kingdom, and is the one responsible for the issuing of data and information related to gambling in the UK.  What the UKGC did is take all the data and stats from 2019 where we still lived in a normal world, and everything was still as good as we knew it, and compared the data from the 2020 stats from the pandemic times (specifically the data post lock-downs and during lock-down)

Has the world pandemic affected the UK’s gambling world?

 To start off, it is good to remember that all land based casinos in the United Kingdom have been closed off, as part of the Covid-19 measures. This was between March 2020 and June 2020.  The world stood at a standstill and the United Kingdom included. And following the June lock-down, and people being made redundant from their jobs, not many people are currently using their spare change to gamble. At this day and age, every penny counts

Less people are gambling …that is the sad truth

Sporting events cancelled, land based casinos closed, and your round the corner bookie also closed. There were and still are very few options for the punter and gamble to enjoy gambling.  Whilst many people enjoy the land based scene, others loved the bookmaker shop to place their weekly bets or scratch cards.  All of these have had an impact on the UK’s gambling scene and figures

On the other hand and as we did mention earlier, people have seen their friends and family members being made redundant, losing their jobs, so spending money at the instant withdrawal casino is just not an option anymore.  If we also take a look at the National Lottery which still remained operational during lock-down, a substantial decline in ticket sales was recorded, the first in many years. At the start of 2020 when the first measures were announced a 26% decline was recorded, and by mid June a further 22% reduction in sales was recorded. All the figures were compared with the same sales figures from 2019

What about new players?

 The UK Gambling Commission also highlighted that their figures and data show less and less players signing up to new casinos for the first time.  To be fair, with uncertain futures like we all currently hold, this is not news to us.  Players and people across the globe are very weary where to spend their money

On the other hand, the UKGC stressed that they have seen a number of players switch to online events. Let’s say for example your football team was not playing and your normally place a bet at your bookmaker, well to satisfy that itch to player, players tend to focus and gamble on esports and virtual events

The rise in online gambling

 The UKGC also confirms that during the first 2 month of lock-down, casinos with instant withdrawal that hold their license have seen a significant increase in the number of players that searched or indulged in online gambling. To breakdown further the stats and figures, the slot world saw an increase of 25% in players, and the players that started playing online poker increased with a solid 38%.

Compared to other businesses across the globe, the gambling niche should not complain when it comes to staying business as usual.  Whilst some casinos closed their doors, mainly the small offerings, other big operators have even recorded new figures and even profit.  The same cannot be said about sports book operators, since most sporting events were eventually cancelled or postponed till next year

If you are looking to play, we suggest that you sign up to an online casino, one that is licensed and regulated. Make sure that you check your bank roll, and only use disposable money for your fun times. A top quality gaming experience is what you need and truly deserve.


Please play responsibly. For more information and advice visit www.begambleaware.org







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