5 Reasons Online Gambling Grew In Popularity During Lockdown
By Space Coast Daily // June 9, 2021
Gambling is one of the world’s biggest industries, accounting for billions upon billions of dollars in profits nearly every year. Much like everything else though, the gambling industry has been strongly affected by the pandemic, but maybe not in the way you might expect.
Rather than seeing an overall decrease in gambling, we instead see a drop in traditional, land-based gambling, and a massive increase in online gambling. In fact, a recent study found that regular gamblers were six times as likely to gamble compared to before the pandemic.
It’s no surprise in a world that is continuously getting more digital, that gambling itself has made such a quick jump to the online world. Interestingly, online gambling has grown so much that some of the biggest events of the year are online gambling events. These online events have typically transplanted traditional land-based events in terms of size and participation, which is quite impressive in such a short amount of time.
Of course, the lockdowns are not the only reason that online gambling has taken off, and they have had their own sets of gambling innovations. In some countries, like Japan, the online gambling industry has grown tenfold. Popular online casinos recommended by Live Japan Casino are all great examples of this growth.
Ease of Access & Safety
Before moving forward, we can’t discount the fact that physical barriers to entry have played a big part in helping online casinos do well. With lockdowns in place or limits on the number of people due to the pandemic, a lot of physical places can no longer cater to the capacity they are used to or are just outright closed down.
Since online casinos can be accessed from a smartphone or computer, there’s no need for people to go down and potentially risk their health. Not only that, but the general easy-of-access, even without lockdowns or limits in place, already gives them an advantage over land-based casinos. They also don’t have to bother with dressing up to go out, although that’s more of a secondary benefit!
Reputation & Loyalty Programs
Another big point that online casinos are hitting is things such as loyalty programs.
Since online casinos are digital, it’s much easier to gamify the whole experience and create attractive loyalty programs. This can evolve things such as special events for high-tier members, a return on losses, extra chips to gamble with, and so forth. In fact, some of the higher-end casinos might even have account managers to make sure people have a good experience while gambling online.
Similarly, while casinos tend to have a somewhat seedy and immoral reputation, casinos have made great strides in recent years to change that image. In fact, there are quite a few socio-economic benefits to gambling, and a lot of times online casinos can give back to the communities that they are in.
Not only that, but online casinos have also started taking problematic gambling and gambling addiction seriously. By offering players pre-defined limits and adhering to laws meant to stop gambling addiction, the gambling industry is doing its best to be at the forefront of dealing with its own internal addiction pandemic.
Better Payment Options
If you’ve been following the online financial markets recently, or just generally know of things going on in the financial world, you’ve probably heard of the term ‘Cryptocurrency’ or crypto for short.
Well, this crypto is a great alternative to traditional payment methods that you might expect to see in casinos. In fact, since people no longer have to put their credit or debit card information, which could potentially be stolen, the whole system is much more secure. Similarly, since it’s a digital currency that can be anonymous, people don’t necessarily have to put in their personal information either.
Another big plus with digital currencies is that they are much faster than traditional banking methods. For example, bank transfers can take up to three days, which is a long time to wait to receive winnings. Instead, with digital currencies, the payments and payouts can happen nearly instantaneously.
This is why cryptocurrency fits in well with online gambling, and why in general is considered safer by some gamblers compared to paying with cash or credit card.
One thing that has traditionally been lacking with online gambling is the fact that there aren’t any live dealers. This ability to look at and talk with a dealer at a table has always been a big draw with traditional casinos, and so it’s always been an issue when it comes to the popularity of online gambling.
Luckily, this has slowly started to change in the last year during the lockdown, with more online casinos hiring live dealers to deal with players. Not only that, but online casinos have also started working on creating a bit more fanfare and atmosphere around playing and winning.
This way, players are able to connect more with these online platforms and form long-term bonds. Combine that with the point about loyalty above, and you can see how it can make online gambling seem more attractive to both regular and new gamblers.
Stronger Marketing & Engaging Younger Demographics
This may not seem like it would make a big difference in the lockdown, but marketing efforts by online casinos have definitely helped boost popularity.
A large part of that has come from engaging a younger audience compared to the 45+ that casinos might usually try and target. This has been especially effective due to the fact that the younger audience has started to spend more time at home due to the lockdowns. As such they’re much more open to online gambling than they might have been before when they had other easy-to-access activities.
All in all, the pandemic has been a watershed event for online gambling. The lockdowns restricting access to non-digital casinos, combined with the rapid evolution of online gambling over the past year, has made the online gambling industry truly boom.
It also seems like this trend will continue, especially with the slower rollout of the vaccine than expected, and continued, rolling lock-downs.