COVID-19 and the iGaming Industry 2022

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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic that ravaged the world in early 2020, practically every industry has felt the influence of COVID-19 (for better or worse) in some way or another. The gaming sector has not been exempt from this rule. Land-based gambling enterprises, ranging from casinos to betting shops, were particularly heavily impacted, incurring significant financial losses as a result of being forced to close their doors during lockdowns. In contrast, the worldwide gambling business has not seen a uniformly negative effect as a result of the epidemic during its entire history. While many brick-and-mortar companies have suffered as a result of the economic downturn, many online gaming enterprises have managed to prosper.

COVID-19 and the iGaming Industry


Because the great majority of individuals are spending more time inside than they would normally, internet use has increased dramatically during the epidemic. Indeed, in the United Kingdom alone, 87 percent of the country’s internet customers have increased their time spent connected on gadgets, particularly mobile ones, during the epidemic. Increased internet use has also resulted in a rise in the number of online gamblers throughout the globe. When there was nothing else to do, individuals who didn’t normally participate in real money online gambling started to try their luck at betting, slots, bingo, lotteries, and live dealer games because there was nothing else to do. When these newcomers joined forces with the industry’s long-time participants, they represented a sea change in the way the conventional gambling sector operated in the past.

In this essay, we’ll look at the good and bad consequences of COVID-19, with particular reference to the online gambling business, as well as projections for the sector’s future development.

The Beneficial Effects of COVID-19 on Online Gambling


As a consequence of the increase of online gamblers over the last year and a half, many gambling enterprises have been compelled to make modifications in order to stay competitive and profitable. The following are some of the most significant ways in which the epidemic has benefited online gaming enterprises.

The Positive Effects of COVID-19 on Online Gambling Businesses taught them to diversify their operations.
COVID-19 compelled numerous gaming establishments to make improvements to their products and services. This was true not just for brick-and-mortar businesses who realized the disadvantages of not having a digital presence, but also for online sportsbooks whose markets were adversely impacted by sports matches and other live events being canceled or postponed during lockdowns. As a result, online bookmarkers were required to provide a variety of casino table and card games, slots, scratch cards, bingo, live dealer games, and other forms of entertainment to fulfill the demands of bettors looking for adequate entertainment options.

The popularity of eSports, fantasy sports, and virtual sports has increased.


Despite the financial damage that bookmakers faced as a result of the 2020 lockdowns, sports betting continues to be one of the most successful gambling enterprises in the world. According to a Technavio analysis, the global sports betting industry is estimated to reach US$106.25 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.70 percent throughout that period. This rise will not only be the consequence of increased interest in betting on conventional professional sports events, but it will also most likely be the result of increased interest in betting on eSports, fantasy video sports, and virtual sports. During the epidemic, each of these sorts of gatherings grew in popularity, not only among Millennials but also among other generations. In addition to filling a void for bettors who would otherwise bet on traditional pre-match and live sports events, fantasy sports, and virtual sports, as well as eSports tournaments, took advantage of the fact that they were completely digital, non-live events, and took place online, allowing bookmakers to retain and acquire customers.

New marketplaces are opening up.


Covid-19 had an influence on the gaming business both domestically and internationally. Businesses in certain regions have migrated from traditional gambling operations to online gambling activities, extending their iGaming services and even adopting new regulatory frameworks as a consequence. For example, after the outbreak of the epidemic in the United States, the number of people who gamble online has doubled. It is likely to increase as additional states pass legislation to permit remote gambling, hence increasing the number of income streams available to them in the total gaming industry. According to a Mordor Intelligence analysis, the online gambling industry in the United States was valued US$1,978.57 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.32 percent between 2021 and 2026.

Consequences of COVID-19 that were less than favorable


Although the online gambling sector is growing, not all of the pandemic’s impacts have been favorable for the gaming industry. After taking into consideration the obvious drawbacks, such as the cancellation or postponing of athletic events, the most concerning consequence is the detrimental impact that growing online gambling may have on participants.

Consequences of COVID-19 that were less than favorable


Increased likelihood of developing a gambling addiction
Every year, an estimated 51 percent of the world’s population engages in some type of gambling, according to some estimates. Consumers spending more time participating in real money gambling online may be beneficial to the bottom line of casinos. Online gambling, on the other hand, is not always the most beneficial hobby, particularly for those who are at risk of developing or who already have problem gambling behaviors.

As reported in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to exacerbate mental health issues in the general population. One of these health issues is the rising participation in addictive behaviors, such as gambling addiction, which is on the rise. The increased development of these behaviors is particularly likely during a pandemic crisis when individuals are confined to their homes and confronting frightening scenarios such as rapid changes in employment conditions, anxiety, depression, and psychological stress. In addition to the convenience and availability of iGaming and addictive behaviors, there are difficulties such as boredom alleviation and escape, all of which are significant during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Players’ declining gaming habits have a detrimental influence on iGaming enterprises as well, increasing the likelihood of fraud and chargebacks. Furthermore, when problem gambling among players becomes more prevalent, authorities tighten their limitations even further to guarantee that their licensees comply to the most stringent responsible gambling guidelines. To provide an example, the Gambling Commission of the United Kingdom forbade both bricks-and-mortar and online gambling enterprises in the United Kingdom from receiving credit card payments from UK customers for gambling purposes in June 2020. People were not allowed to bet with money they did not have, which helped to limit the danger of gambling-related damage to the general public.

What Does the Future Have in Store for Us?


Researchers predict that the pandemic will hasten the coming digital transition of many gaming enterprises, which they believe would be accelerated by the outbreak. It will enable businesses to capitalize on growth opportunities in sectors where brands that currently have digital products are benefiting from extraordinary acquisition opportunities. Consumers have spent more time interacting with various sorts of in-home media as a result of the lockout, and this isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. The market is driven by a rising number of mobile phone users who play games at home and on the move, and it is likely that this will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.

What Does the Future Have in Store for Us?


In 2019, the worldwide online gambling industry had a value of US$53.7 billion, according to a Grand View Research analysis, and it is predicted to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5 percent from 2020 to 2027. There are a variety of variables that have contributed to and will likely continue to contribute to the expansion of the market. Among these variables are the previously noted high internet penetration and rise in mobile phone usage for gaming, as well as the ease with which online gambling can be accessed, societal acceptance and legality of remote gambling, corporate sponsorships, and celebrity endorsements. Virtual reality, social gaming, and skill-based games, among other emerging technologies that deliver more immersive experiences, might potentially play a role.

The fact is that, regardless of how long the epidemic persists, the increasing availability of cost-effective mobile apps throughout the globe will contribute to the expansion of the global market. Traditional land-based gaming is expected to be eclipsed by its digital counterpart in the near future. Shortly said, it is widely expected that the iGaming sector will have a prosperous future.

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