How Does COVID-19 Affect iGaming Industry?

(Updated at: 22. Oct 2020)
Useful Tips of How to Stay Safe during COVID-19

Undeniably one of the greatest health crises the world has seen so far, the COVID-19 pandemic destabilized the entire global population and the world’s economy to the extent which is yet to be completely analysed and exposed.

Whichever aspect is taken, there’s no doubt that it will take years and years to get the complete picture of all the effects caused by this virulent disease.

Does Coronavirus have an impact on online gambling?

Yes, it does, but it’s affecting all industries and all verticals, not just entertainment. But, it’s very important to point out that these effects are both positive and negative. This new situation opened numerous questions and brought plenty of changes. 

Casino Horse decided to make a brief analysis and see where things stand at the moment. Let’s see what do statistics show, and which are the major modifications that COVID-19 has brought to the iGaming industry so far!

How Do Figures Look Like? 

It’s been quite a while since the novel Coronavirus became an integral part of our lives, and affected every segment of it.

Looking from the perspective of iGaming, land-based, and the entire entertainment industry, many people changed their gambling habits, some for better some for worse.

Focusing on online and brick-and-mortar sectors simultaneously, let’s see what statistics relying on H2 Gambling Capital data reveal.

Let’s take a look at the online industry first:

  • Almost half of all global sports wagering in 2020 belongs to interactive betting: 49%.
  • iGaming is on a notable growth as well; it is 8% bigger than the last year.
  • The overall increase amounts to 3% per year, and, just for the record, iGaming has never gone up more than 1.2% annually for the last 17 years.

Here are the highlights from offline verticals:

  • As per current predictions, global gambling gross win in the entire land-based sector is 19.2% down compared to the previous year. It’s also 22.5% lower than the pre-pandemic prognoses.
  • The forced closure of casinos America-wide (92% of them, precisely), affected more than 640,000 workers in this industry. This led to Nevada being the state with the highest unemployment rate in the States, 25% higher than the one during the Great Depression.

As assumed, online gambling and other Internet-based gaming verticals (eSports and Daily Fantasy Sports) remained relatively unaffected by the situation. And yes, the data show that this branch is burgeoning, as people are advised to be socially distanced from each other. 

Is it the reason for the online industry to celebrate?

Well, in some other situation it could be, but in this specific one, even bigger challenges were put before it. Knowing that, in these sensitive times, people will become more susceptible to “sins” like this, and more prone to addiction- all eyes need to be open even wider.

There are numerous organizations and institutions whose mission is to protect the players (BeGambleAware, Gamblers Anonymous, Gam Care to name a few), and they all have the same goal- to keep the environment safe and assist those who need help.

So, in which way they contributed to better and more stringent protection?

Let’s find out!

Which Protection Measures Were Taken?

When it comes to the online sphere, the versatility of protection measures is already in use, aiming to keep punters on the safe side. Some of them are:

  • Options to self-exclude for either limited or unlimited period of time
  • Possibility to set deposit limits (daily, weekly or monthly)
  • Possibility to set time limits
  • Reality checks

In addition to this, a growing number of websites also utilizes age verification to make sure there’s no underage gambling. Also, when registering accounts in online casinos, players are required to submit a diversity of documents that would ensure their identity is legit, and to a certain extent- show their capacity to participate in gambling activities, in terms of finances.

Some players see this as interfering with too many personal details and information, but if the ultimate goal is to stay safe and not experience any of gambling-related issues, should operators be blamed for implementing such strict measures?

After all, it’s one’s personal choice whether to gamble or not, and rules are to be followed. For sake of mutual benefits, of course.

To make the brick-and-mortar entertainment industry running again, of course, at somewhat reduced capacity, various precaution measures needed to be implemented. And what’s even more important, regularly followed by both employees and players.

Those are the following:

  • Regular temperature checks on visitors and hands disinfection
  • Mandatory use of Personal Protection Equipment (face masks, gloves, and other garments)
  • Plexiglas sneeze guards set at table games
  • Reduced seating at slot machines

How to Stay Safe Online During Pandemic? (Hot Tips)

At this point in time, no one can tell for sure when and how will the pandemic end, and how will the future look. What we have now is the so-called “new normal” and our task is to adapt to it in the best way possible.

If there’s to point out what’s the most important in this branch of the entertainment industry, then well-regulated online jurisdictions, as well as properly governed markets compliant with national regulations, would be the foundation for safe and secure gambling environment.

It’s up to each player to approach gambling as maximally responsible as one can, relying on his/ her own skills and bankroll.

Some general recommendations, applicable to the entire community would be:

  • Have smart bankroll management and stick within the limits of your budget!
  • Always choose respectable online brands that have good interaction with players and which are reliable when it comes to cashing out winnings!
  • Mind the license and other approvals from various relevant authorities!
  • Pick games from reputable providers and the ones which are in line with your skills!
  • And finally- don’t forget to read the Terms and Conditions!

Yes, it’s that long and dull document consisting of so many blocks of text, but it’s the exact place where you can see your rights and obligations. Country and game restriction, wagering requirements, rules for bonuses are just some of the aspects which you need to be familiar with.

Final Thoughts 

So, it all boils down to individual common sense and each person’s consciousness. In these challenging times, we all have to show a high level of connection with people from all parts of the world, empathy, and responsibility.

We’re in this together, without any exception.

As long as you are an informed player, who wants to have fun without getting into trouble, then no problems will occur. And that’s what ours and the role of all participants in the thriving entertainment industry is- to show you what to pay attention to and how to maximize the chances to have a good time playing your favorite games.

Yours is to follow these friendly bits of advice.

Now that Casino Horse has shown you how the COVID-19 pandemic looks like from the perspective of online gambling, the only thing left is to- stay healthy and safe and gamble responsibly!

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