Home Insights & Advice The rise and rise of online gambling during the pandemic

The rise and rise of online gambling during the pandemic

by John Saunders
7th Jun 21 5:15 pm

Gambling companies faced a massive growth opportunity during the coronavirus lockdown that brought the world to a standstill in 2020.

Casino operators learnt how to embrace the world of online to help customers access their favourite games from the comfort of their own homes during the pandemic.

The closure of commercial and social venues combined with the prolonged cancellation of major sporting events led to a game-changing shift in the gambling landscape around the world.

Figures from the UK’s regulatory body, the Gambling Commission, showed that online gambling consumers were expanding into new activities on casino websites such as Wunderino and spending more time and money betting even though fewer people were gambling during the pandemic.

This was largely down to Britons looking for avenues for entertainment amid the stress, anxiety, boredom and free time that came with the coronavirus pandemic during the long months of 2020 and 2021.

That’s why it is no surprise that the gambling industry contributes significantly to the UK’s gross domestic product every year.

Influential industry body, the Betting and Gaming Council, has highlighted that its members support more than 119,000 jobs in the UK by employing support staff in the casino and maintenance and IT workers for online platforms.

The gambling industry is also responsible for together generating a whopping £4.5 billion in tax for the UK Treasury, statistics have shown. This is in addition to the massive £7.7 billion the industry adds to the British economy in gross value added.

Slots and the availability of a variety of games are key in attracting customers to gambling venues and websites.

A study conducted last year by researchers at the University of Liverpool found that slots and casino games accounted for 93% of gross gambling yield from online gambling across the operators participating in the research. However, the analysis also found that gambling products were also more likely to be used by people from areas with higher levels of deprivation.

The UK government has highlighted the importance of online gambling venues in the post-pandemic landscape.

In December 2020, the government launched a review to ensure gambling laws are fit for the digital age. As part of the review, the UK government recognised the need to balance the enjoyment people get from online gambling with the right regulatory framework and protections.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, said: “Whilst millions gamble responsibly, the Gambling Act is an analogue law in a digital age. From an era of having a flutter in a high street bookmaker, casino, racecourse or seaside pier, the industry has evolved at breakneck speed.

“This comprehensive review will ensure we are tackling problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people. It will also help those who enjoy placing a bet to do so safely.

“This builds upon our clear track record of introducing tough measures to protect people from the risk of gambling harm – banning the use of credit cards, launching tighter age verification checks and cutting the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals.”

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