When COVID 19 first hit, people were at a loss of what to do. They were losing jobs and sources of income, unsure of how to protect themselves from the virus and had little to no information on when this ordeal would be over. Many changes followed the spread of the virus, key among them working from home. Most people found themselves forced to work from the confines of their homes, while others had fewer shifts at work. But did this affect the online gambling industry? Let’s find out:
The Closure of Land-Based Casinos
As part of the government measures to protect their citizens, authorities shut down most casinos. Some allowed casinos to keep operating but limited the number of people who could play at a time. So, avid players had to find another way to get their kick, resulting in the rise of online gambling. Of course, when players realized the convenience of playing with Miami club casino online and other operators, they could not help but stick to online gambling. Why?
- They could play from their homes without incurring transport costs,
- They did not have to pay for drinks and food in the casinos,
- Most casinos had a range of payment methods that enabled them to use whatever finances they had lying around,
- Players did not need to dress up to meet a particular dress code,
- Most casinos had social forums where players could interact with each other to avoid getting bored and avoid the loneliness of being at home,
- These casinos had a wide variety of games, which enabled players to find games with the best RTPs,
- There was no risk of contracting COVID 19 when playing online, and
- The minimum wagers on most of these casinos were affordable.
With all these advantages and added time on players’ hands, online gaming was only set to grow.
The Introduction of New Wagers
People love to gamble on uncertainty. That’s why they will put up money to back a team during a finale or bet on who will win an election. During COVID 19, people enjoyed the new range of bets available. Some people would even bet on the number of new cases that would crop up in a day. Others would put up money on the color of tie that the president or prime minister would wear during the press conference. The whole gambling community was awash with bets. Some were even on the dangerous side- some people would organize parties with a COVID-positive individual. The bet? – the person who would catch the virus first! Of course, the authorities cracked down hard on such bets, but you get the gist. More betting opportunities were available, so even people who were not betting before were now encouraged to play.
The Increase of Problem Gambling
Most people gamble for fun. They enjoy that rush of adrenaline and know when to walk away instead of chasing losses. To such individuals, gambling is a normal pastime and not an escape from reality. But then others gamble to get away from their problems. Studies show that people dealing with attention deficit disorders, stress, anxiety, and depression are likely to engage in problem gambling.
Unfortunately, during COVID 19 lockdowns, most people were stuck at home, which only aggravated their distress. Many were dealing with the death of loved ones, loss of income, and the anxiety of not knowing what the future held. So, they resorted to gambling their worries away. When gambling to escape, you hardly pay attention to your losses- you want to win. That’s why someone can gamble and gamble until they have spent their savings on a game, and yet they have no returns. Then, instead of quitting, they start selling their assets or borrowing money to fund their wagers because they don’t know how to stop.
COVID 19 saw an increase in problem gambling, which explains the increase in gambling revenues during the lockdowns.
The Loss of Disposable Income
Not every avid bettor kept up with their gambling habits. Some decided to step away from gambling for a while. For some, the sudden loss of income kept them from playing. Others, however, explained that they were no longer feeling the pressure to gamble as they were no longer around their friends. Finally, given the uncertainty about the economy’s future, some people chose to hold on to what they had rather than risk it in gambling.
The Growth of E-Sports
COVID 19 prevention measures resulted in a temporary ban on physical sports. Fans could not help but feel disheartened as they could no longer buy tickets to watch their favorite games. To make matters worse, players could not practice together or even engage in friendly matches. They had nothing to offer their fans, who now had to seek alternatives. E-sports were the winners in this case, as players could still participate in these. So, anyone who enjoyed betting on physical sports could now find an e-sport in a similar niche. For example, football fans could now bet on FIFA games and enjoy watching their favorite teams work their way up the leagues. No wonder the e-sports gambling revenue hit tens of billions of dollars in 2020!
For the most part, most players spent more time gambling as they could now access online games at any time and anywhere. They also had more time on their hands and felt bored, stuck at home for long periods. If the gambling revenues are anything to go by, online gambling suffered a boost during COVID 19.
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