Growth of Online Mines Games Tips Gambling During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on many aspects of our daily lives. On top of being a deadly virus, the resulting lockdowns caused by the pandemic put a strain on economies across the globe. One of the few sectors that actually flourished during the pandemic was online casinos.
Online casinos experienced a boom that is still going on today. With millions of bettors unable to go to their favorite brick-and-mortar casinos, they turned to online variants instead. Some places, including dozens of states in the US, even changed their laws to allow for more online gambling.
In some ways, the COVID-19 pandemic shaped the growth of the online gambling industry we know today. Online betting subsequently flourished in some of the biggest betting markets in the world. Now that the peak of the pandemic is behind us, how will online gambling continue to grow around the world?
How Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Change Online Gambling?
Online gambling provided an entertaining outlet for many people during COVID-related lockdowns at the height of the pandemic. Some of the effects are still being felt today in the form of new legislation and income revenues. Some places put new, more expansive gambling laws into place. Meanwhile, several new providers opened their doors while the rest of us were locked up at home.
New Gambling Laws
One of the biggest ways that the pandemic helped the growth of online gambling was that it resulted in new gambling legislation. Economies across the world needed new revenue streams as most businesses were being forced to shut down.
Online betting provided an avenue for many economies to rebound from the pandemic. Many countries used the promise of new gambling revenue to change their gambling laws. In the US, for instance, dozens of states have legalized online sports betting and casino gaming in recent years.
Since 2020, the following states have legalized some form of online sports betting:
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Carolina
Increase in Providers
Changes in gambling laws allowed governments to start taxing online gambling revenues. The new laws also created new opportunities for gambling operators.
Established sportsbooks and casinos with an online presence were ahead of the game. But relaxed gaming restrictions also cleared the way for new operators to set up shop. The increase in gambling sites gave players more options for online gambling.
The competition amongst casinos has generally been good news for players. It makes it easier to pick a gambling site that offers the games you want. Also, having more sportsbooks available makes it easier to shop odds and get the best value. Different sites offering unique welcome and reload bonuses was also a smart way for operators to keep bettors coming back for more while separating themselves from their competitors.
More Players Using Online Casinos
Increasing the supply of online gambling options could have helped grow the industry on its own. But the fact that millions of players across the world were in lockdown only added fuel to the fire.
Brick-and-mortar casino players had no choice but to turn to online gambling sites for their favorite games. Sports bettors were in a similar predicament once games resumed.
With fewer other activities available, many people turned to online betting as an entertainment source and in an attempt to earn extra income.
Effect of COVID on Online Casinos by Country
Gambling sites across the world saw dramatic increases in membership and revenues during the pandemic. Countries that were quick to adopt casino-friendly regulations tended to fare better than others.
India, for example, experienced a 35% growth in gambling during the pandemic. It was the largest increase of any country over that time span.
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The new laws proved fruitful for countries that adopted gambling-friendly policies. According to the American Gambling Association, land-based, commercial gaming revenue decreased by more than 31% in 2020. Online betting provided a new revenue stream, and the industry was able to bonus back in the first quarter of 2021.
Other countries experienced similar spikes in online gambling interest. According to the UK Gambling Commission, virtual sports betting and online poker had year-to-year increases of 88% and 53% in March 2020, respectively.
How Did the Pandemic Affect Land-Based Casinos?
The major reason for players turning to online gambling during the pandemic was that land-based casinos were unavailable. Pandemic restrictions prevented retail casinos from operating for much of 2020. Lockdowns had a major effect on brick-and-mortar casinos, some of which are still felt today.
Decrease in Revenues
Land-based casinos lost more than 25% of their normal business days due to pandemic restrictions. When they did reopen, casinos still had to battle lower capacity limits and other pandemic restrictions.
The US was not the only country that saw a major decrease in commercial casino revenue. In the UK, commercial gaming revenue was also down. While the market has rebounded somewhat, the gross gambling yield (GGY) from last year was still below pre-pandemic levels.
Many casinos across the globe have been able to rebound since COVID restrictions were lifted. However, that has sadly not been the case for all of the casinos that were forced to close during lockdown.
One brand that was hurt the most was Station Casinos. Three casinos under the Station brand were never reopened, even after pandemic restrictions were lifted. It was later announced that the Fiesta Rancho, Texas Station, and Fiesta Henderson would remain closed permanently.
There were similar stories from casinos across the globe. The Genting Casino Southport, a casino in the UK, was also forced to close its doors permanently when it could not recover from pandemic restrictions.
Increase in Online Partnerships
One of the ways that casinos were able to rebound from the pandemic was by increasing their online presence. Casinos that already had the infrastructure for online gambling were able to expand their business right away.
Other operators needed a little extra help. As a result, many casinos created partnerships with companies that were already established in the world of internet gambling. Companies such as DraftKings, Fan Duel, and others were the main benefactors of this approach.
DraftKings, for instance, raked in over $640 million in 2020. That was a nearly 50% increase in revenue compared to 2019. Relaxing gambling laws have helped major online sportsbooks and casinos maintain these increases in betting revenue.
How Will Online Casinos Grow Post-Pandemic?
The effects the pandemic had on the online gambling industry are obvious. But even with the days of masks and lockdowns behind us, online betting could still experience plenty of growth in the years to come.
Expanding Gaming Options
Online betting was a saving grace for gamblers during the pandemic. Now that more people than ever know the joys of betting online, the industry can aim for sustainable growth. One of the best ways to do this is by creating new, innovative ways for players to bet online.
This includes developing new titles that fit the desires of players. Also, creating new types of games, prizes, and bonuses to keep players interested in betting online. Luckily, casino game developers around the world are hard at work to make sure players always have new options available.
Revenue from gambling sites helped many economies stay afloat during the pandemic. It was also crucial to many post-pandemic recovery efforts. Now that the gambling revenue floodgates have been opened, it is unlikely that they will be closed again.
There are still places that have yet to pass new gaming legislation. However, the pressure to pass new laws will only grow as early adopters continue to rake in revenue from gaming taxes.
Sports betting was a major focus of early gambling laws during the pandemic. Allowing betting across jurisdictions, such as more inter-state poker games, could be next. Navigating laws across borders can be difficult, though, so this could take time.
Focus on Mobile Betting
There is not much that people cannot accomplish from their mobile devices. One of the few exceptions is being able to place bets or play your favorite casino games using regulated betting apps.
Many states in the US, for example, have been hesitant to allow regulated mobile betting apps. Instead, lawmakers have focused on trying to keep betting on casino grounds and their websites. As gambling becomes more socially acceptable, though, betting from your mobile device should become easier.
The pressure to allow mobile betting will also grow as live betting markets become more popular. Being able to bet on live sporting events as they unfold adds another layer of excitement to the experience. Mobile sportsbooks are better suited to live betting as you do not need to be tied to a desktop to place your wagers.
How Online Betting Flourished During COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns forced us to find new ways to entertain ourselves without leaving our homes. Millions of people turned to online gambling for an escape, leading to a major boom in the industry. The potential revenues for operators and governments alike should lead to continued growth in gambling sites for years to come.