The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world forever. While it appears that the situation is gradually improving, the way that people do things is likely never going to go back to pre-pandemic levels.

Countless sectors were negatively impacted by the pandemic. This includes the land-based gambling sector. As casinos and bookmaker shops had to close for extended periods of time, they were going without revenue coming in the door and often had to rely on government support to keep paying workers.

However, online gambling operators were the ones to take advantage of this situation, as people were still looking for ways to place sports bets and play their favourite casino games when they could no longer do so in person. This article will look at the impact the pandemic had on the online gambling sector.

Closure of Physical Locations

As the pandemic started to set in, politicians and health officials realized just how severe this virus was going to be. In the beginning, most people would not have been able to foresee just how long this situation would last.

As case numbers of COVID-19 continually increased, public orders were released closing entertainment facilities like casinos, bingo halls, and poker rooms. The people who relied on using these facilities on a regular basis then had to start looking elsewhere to get their bets placed or play their games. The natural solution for these people was online gambling platforms.

While a lot of people who frequented the physical facilities already had been using online platforms, there was also a whole new audience exposed to the online space. This bolstered the number of people who were utilizing these platforms across the board, creating a boom in the sector.

People also had more time on their hands, as well as often having more disposable income as they were stuck inside their houses doing nothing. Therefore, the spending among certain types of online gamblers increased dramatically during the period.

Online Sports Betting

For some time towards the beginning of the pandemic, most major sports all across the world were cancelled. There were only very limited sporting events on offer. This led to people betting on anything they possibly could, including table tennis, drone racing, and darts. As a result of the lack of sporting events, online sportsbooks suffered for a while.

However, ever since sports returned in a major way, there has been a boom in success for these online operations. People realized just how important sport is in daily life to keep people happy and entertained. This led to a lot of people watching more sport and also placing more bets a lot of the time on these events.

Games of Chance and Games of Skill

While of course, physical casinos had to close their doors, games of chance and games of skill were still readily available to people through online platforms. As there was a lack of sports betting opportunities for some time, this led to more people turning to popular casino games as these were always going to be available to play. There has been a consistent increase in the number of people playing these games, as well as a resulting increase in profitability for the operators.

One of the interesting trends seen was a rise in the number of people playing online slots. However, there was also a drop in the number of spins per average session or for the total gaming sessions that last up to an hour. Therefore, a lower proportion of people were engaging in more slots play than pre-pandemic.

There have also been some restrictions brought into place by gambling regulators that have slowed down spin speeds, which could also be having an impact. The aim of these types of restrictions has been to try to better protect problem gamblers by cutting down on the number of spins they can do in the course of a playing session.

Players Looking at Other Options

One of the other trends seen during the course of the pandemic was casino players looking for fresh opportunities to express themselves. With the gambling regulators constantly putting in place strict rules on gamblers and platforms, people wanted to have a greater sense of freedom.

This is why non-GamStop casinos offered sites like non-gamstop-casinos.com have been gaining popularity. These are platforms that are not licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), meaning that they do not have to follow the strict rules and regulations of this body. Non-GamStop casinos often give you the chance to get access to a bigger game library, as well as more lucrative offers, and a better collection of payment options.

It is important that people are only using these platforms if they are fully in control of their gambling. That is because these casino sites allow people who are self-excluding through GamStop to avoid these blocks and to continue gambling.

An Interesting Future

The online gambling sector has been in a boom period thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the physical casino sector is looking to get back to pre-pandemic levels, online gambling operators have gone from strength to strength. This trend looks like continuing as more and more people get access to and start using the internet on a daily basis.

While restrictions are easing across the world, land-based casino operators will be hoping that the transition over to online platforms is not a permanent one and that people in their large numbers will return to these physical properties when they get the chance to do so.