Online gambling is the staking of money on the outcome of a game using the internet. The online gambling market comprises a number of different types of games, including roulette, poker, slots, lotteries, and online scratch cards. Just like many other industries across the globe, the coronavirus pandemic has hit the online gambling sector hard.
Read on to know more about the impact of COVID-19 on online gambling.
Sports betting took a hit
The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a blow to the sports betting sector that was poised to take off in 2020. In recent weeks, all major sporting events have been cancelled around the world. Other events like the NBA, NHL, and MLB seasons are on hold. Sports-betting companies that have been spending huge on marketing and other things to capitalize on the industry are now cutting costs to keep their businesses afloat. One of the most highly respected and popular companies includes 777 Casino among others.
It’s a do or die situation for physical sportsbooks, as they own massive retail outlets that have been mostly shut down. Online-gaming providers are relying on their daily fantasy businesses to weather the crisis. Most of them are launching betting pools around topics like politics or TV shows. Sports leagues and associations are turning towards game simulations and esports in lieu of in-person events, which have the potential to provide new betting opportunities.
Online casino is stable
It seems that the coronavirus crisis and the fact that most people are stuck in their homes had a negligible effect on the number of daily online casino players when comparing the two periods. There has been a small increase since the virus started spreading.
According to research firm Optimove, there has been a massive increase of 43% in the number of daily poker players. This is significant enough to make poker a potential saviour for many operators across the globe. All the companies with poker products that were researched by Optimove experienced an increase and some even doubled their number of poker players in recent times. This is because many people are staying at home, while not being able to bet on sports.
Also, there has been a 255% increase in first-time poker players during the period, compared to an average day before the lockdown.
More importantly, though, is taking a look at how many of them were entirely new to gambling? Not as much as you’d expect – over 75% of the new-to-poker players had done sports betting on the same brand before playing poker for the first time.
What about virtual sports?
In recent weeks, there has been a significant increase in virtual sports products. Virtual sports, a kind of online sports betting and casino combo seem to keep the sports betting business afloat during these tough times.
The new situation – with a lack of real sporting events – drove more players to place bets on the virtual ones. In the beginning, there was a significant increase of 30% in the number of daily virtual sports players.