It has already been well documented that Covid has damaged many businesses across the world with many closing for good. What you may not know, however, is that it had both negative and positive impacts on the gambling industry.
While traditional gaming establishments such as casinos had to close and Las Vegas became a ghost town with a 50% drop in visitors, another part of the industry grew unexpectedly.
With so many people spending the majority of their time indoors, the internet became a major focus point for many. Work was carried out remotely, shopping conducted online, social media kept people connected, and the internet allowed players to carry on visiting casinos.
The change in the ways people sought out entertainment, gaming, and betting has led the gambling industry to a fundamental shift in the way they see their future.
The high street will never be the same again
One area that many experts have noted is that footfall in high streets and other shopping venues may never return to previous figures. William Hill Bookmakers in the UK have echoed this and responded by closing 119 betting shops permanently.
Other businesses involved in forms of gambling such as Buzz Bingo have also shut down a number of operations leading to unemployment for many. The online gambling industry is doing fine though.
In 2020, internet usage shot up by 70% as people were forced to find solutions online. Of course, not everyone was using the net to gamble but more people than ever searched for online casinos.
With casinos, bingo halls, and sportsbooks closing, it looks as if the world of gambling will be shifting more online and away from brick-and-mortar buildings.
Bingo found new fans
Just as bingo found itself dying and halls closing due to high rents and lack of new players signing up, the online bingo providers found a new group of players.
Once again, the lockdown helped push people online but it was also that people started to use their time to find new forms of entertainment.
People who would never be seen in a bingo hall surrounded by blue rinse were now actively logging into their favorite bingo sites and playing for cash. Bingo sites realized that there was a younger new market available and started targeting them with adverts using celebrities, attractive models, and even EDM music.
The internet allows casinos to use new technology
Casinos have never been shy of using any new tech if it can help them make money. RFID is used in casino chips to avoid cheats, as is Angel Eye technology to catch card switchers. Online casinos also employ different tech to make their websites more interesting and attract players.
Many think that live casinos are the future of online gambling and this was another way that things changed in 2020. Live casinos use real dealers to host games and with the use of tech, players can go online and be greeted by a real-life professional croupier.
Virtual reality is also making its way into the casino world and there are already realistically rendered gaming floors for players to wander around and enjoy.
The internet allows newcomers an easy ride
Many people in the world would never enter a bookmaker or live too far away from a traditional casino but the internet has made this more accessible.
Some people find casinos noisy, crowded, and unwelcoming but an online casino allows anonymity and a way to try games without being watched by anyone else.
If you put on a stupid bet who cares? No one is listening or watching. If you are a newcomer to poker or blackjack it doesn’t matter. No one can see you playing at home in your boxers on your favorite armchair anyway.
There are guides, tips, and strategies online too. Newbies can look for tips for online gambling and enjoy playing while they learn. This is another reason that 2020 changed the way that people gamble.
The boredom of being at home enticed many people who were curious about casinos or sports betting but who were likely to never try if lockdowns never happened.
The downside to online gambling
Of course, just as there are positives there will also be some negatives. As the gambling industry changes forever it leaves behind casualties too.
Thousands of people lost jobs as Las Vegas shut down and it is not clear how many will be picked up again as casinos operate at limited capacity. All traditional gambling establishments have suffered financial difficulties and job losses.
There is also the risk that the ease of access to online gambling could cause problems as experienced by some British gamblers. However, for many, the arrival of online casinos into mainstream home entertainment allows more choice when it comes to avoiding boredom, and a small wager can add some excitement to a sporting event too.
The future of gambling
Now that 2020 has passed and some levels of normality are returning is it likely that gamblers will return to land-based establishments? It would appear not, at least not in the numbers that went before.
Players have got used to the convenience of a kasyno internetowe and see no reason why they should travel miles to a noisy members-only establishment. There are also the other benefits of gaming online including more payment methods, 24/7 opening hours, free bets, and bonuses for signing up.
With new technology being introduced it would seem to be a step backward to visit a bookmaker to place a bet when you can easily compare odds online and play poker in between sports events.
As old hands at poker and other games were shut out by Covid, they turned to the internet for their fun. However, it wasn’t only the pandemic that caused the gambling industry to change, the internet made it possible.
It is likely that the gambling industry would have grown more online and reduced their high street presence over time anyway but 2020 saw that the future arrived much quicker than expected.