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How Covid-19 rocked the gambling industry

  • by Stelly in Industry
  • September 6, 2021

Covid-19 shook the casino industry for better and for worse. Take a look at how things changed and what the future holds.


The rise of the Covid-19 pandemic took the world by surprise, caused immense turmoil, and rocked the gambling industry like never before.

More than just casinos, the pandemic and subsequent global lockdown, affected almost every industry across the planet. From restaurants having to shut their doors to stores standing empty due to panic buying and lack of stock, the world has struggled to adjust since March of 2020.

Now, more than 1 and a half years later, there’s no real end in sight to new waves of Covid infections but how has the gambling industry changed and adjusted? We’ll take a closer look at the impact Covid has had on the gambling sector and what the future holds.

A shift to online gambling

Casinos have always been popular. From the moment games of chance grew in popularity, casinos have always been a source of entertainment. Before the pandemic, online casinos were as equally a popular choice for playing exciting casino games. But all of that changed once people were locked in their homes for months on end.

With the start of the first worldwide lockdown, online casinos boomed. The increase in players was massive and people searched for new ways to stay busy.

Online gambling regulators quickly took action and made changes that could control how much players spent, lost, and risked while enjoying their favourite online slots or table games. Smart moves such as deposit limits and law changes quickly put many at ease that players would still be enjoying online gambling responsibly.

While online casinos experienced an increase in player activity, online sportsbooks had to find new ways to entertain players as sporting events shut down. However, many users discovered virtual sports to fill the gap and all-in-all, the online gambling industry soared.

Land-based casinos struggle

Around the world, land-based casinos struggled to find their feet in a new world where crowds were no longer the norm. Many casinos shut their doors entirely and some of the largest gambling markets are still struggling to recover.

Countries such as Macau have watched their revenue plummet from $3 billion per month to only $554 million. Despite most governments allowing casinos to reopen with strict Covid protocols in place, many players are either too nervous to visit public spaces or they’ve grown accustomed to gambling online instead.

The convenience and safety factors far outweigh travelling to a land-based casino for the same entertainment and excitement.

Another wave on the horizon

As Covid-19 variants are starting to appear more regularly, another wave is on the cards. Countries are once again planning to shut their borders, close down businesses, and attempt to ride out yet another round of the pandemic.

But what will this mean for the gambling industry? Land-based casinos will feel the burden of having to close their doors but the future is bright for online casinos.

Now that restrictions and new regulations have been put into place, players are used to the changes and have adjusted their gameplay accordingly. As another wave sets in and people are once again confined to sitting at their PCs or on their mobile phones with nothing to do, online casinos should prepare for even more visitors.

However, if the influx of online casino players surges too quickly, it could see even more restrictions being put in place by regulators that have the best interests of their players at heart.

It remains to be seen what regulators could restrict or change to keep players safe but here at CasinoWow, we’ll be sure to keep you informed and up to date if that happens.

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