Has COVID Permanently Changed the Landscape of Gambling?

Problematic gambling behaviors have been the source of financial and personal problems for many years. However, changes brought about by an international crisis might leave a lasting impact on the gambling industry — the Covid-19 pandemic. While gambling centers around the world have gone through major changes in response to the virus, there’s a possibility that these developments might be permanent. For more information, here’s a look at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling and how it may shape the future of the industry.

Land-Based Gambling Shuts Down

As with many other industries, government social distancing measures led to the closure of physical casinos to curb the spread of the virus. These mandates affected a wide range of centers that offer gambling services, including casinos, clubs with gambling machines, poker rooms, and even bingo halls. Additionally, the pandemic also forced many sporting events to cancel that individuals would have otherwise gambled money on.

As expected, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling led to a significant reduction in revenue. Seventeen studies found that the inaccessibility of gambling centers resulted in an overall reduction in expenditure, making the continued success of land casinos very uncertain.

Gambling Markets Transition Online

In order to survive the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling frequency, the industry needed to adapt and overcome its limitations. If gamblers couldn’t place bets and play casino games in-person, then they would have to do so remotely — and they did. While online gambling services had already existed prior to the pandemic, they started to become a much more popular and profitable format once social distancing measures were passed.

Compared to the physical locations that had to be shut down, online casinos began to boom. In the United Kingdom, for example, online and remote betting experienced a 25% increase in tax revenue. The ability to participate in gambling activities while staying home provided a new level of convenience and — combined with increased revenue — left a profound impact on the industry’s landscape.

The Impact of the Pandemic and the Future of Gambling

Although some physical casinos have reopened or entered a modified state of opening, the future remains uncertain, given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the gambling industry. Whether or not gamblers will flock back to physical casinos or stay remote out of convenience remains to be seen. Regardless of what happens, the gambling industry will continue to thrive so long as it has an online presence.

It is also worth examining the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on problematic gambling behaviors. Because remote gambling services are much more accessible than conventional forms of gambling, there’s less restriction on a player’s ability to engage in problematic behaviors. Furthermore, the pandemic has become a source of stress and isolation for many, prompting them to turn to gamble as an escape. 

As a result, online gamblers have a greater need for support than in the past — especially in communities without a secure safety net and limited access to healthcare services. In response, psychiatric help centers have made more efforts to support problem gamblers online, which may continue after the pandemic concludes.

If you’re searching for gambling anonymous meetings online, then reach out to 800-Gambler today. We offer a variety of resources to help you overcome your problematic behavior, including our facts on problem gambling. Contact 800-Gambler for more information on gambling problems.


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